Sam Kennedy has his work cut out.

At the end of the year, Kennedy will replace Larry Lucchino as president of the Boston Red Sox. It’s a dream come true for Kennedy, who grew up in Brookline about a mile from Fenway Park.

He’ll inherit a team that will likely be coming off its third last-place finish in four seasons and has made it to the playoffs just once in the last six seasons. Kennedy has a background in sales but fully understands the No. 1 priority for this organization is to field a team that contends for a playoff spot every season.

“I’m ready to lead this organization,” Kennedy told me in a NESN interview Sunday. “We have big challenges in front of us, and I stand ready to meet those challenges. Again, I’ve learned from the very best. We’ve got amazing ownership to give us all the resources we need to get done what we need to get done.

“It’s going to be a big challenge. I’m ready for it. I love this city, I love the town.”

And the town has long loved the Red Sox. But that love has been tested by dismal play in 2014 and 2015. Kennedy, who used to go to games on a $2 “clergy ticket” (his father was an Episcopal priest), is a Sox fan to the core. He admitted the team “can’t play like this,” and he will be part of the group that tries to navigate out of the current mess.

In the coming months, the organization will need to examine every aspect of baseball operations. From players on the field to evaluators in the field, no one should escape a thorough examination. Tough decisions will have to be made as the team tries to dig out of this.

Kennedy feels up to the task.

“I’m a lifelong Red Sox fan; the Red Sox are in my blood,” Kennedy said. “I feel that this is what I was put on Earth to do. I’m extremely grateful to John (Henry) and Tom (Werner) for the confidence in me. To Larry for 20 years of mentorship, it’s been a great, great 20 years with Larry. We’re going through the transition now. He’s not going anywhere. He’s going to be around. He’s been so helpful to me and all my colleagues.”

Lucchino oversaw a 14-year span that brought massive changes to Fenway Park, an 820-game sellout streak, and – most importantly – three championships.

It’s hard to remember that Fenway was an old, dilapidated park that was on the verge of crumbling when Lucchino came in with owners Henry and Werner in 2002. The ownership group had vowed to renovate the ballpark, but most believed it would be impossible to do so.

Now, Fenway has the amenities of a modern stadium while keeping the atmosphere of years past. The Green Monster seats, ridiculed by many when they were announced, are one of the best places to watch a game in all of major league baseball. Yawkey Way is a festive carnival during each home game, a place where kids can play and grab a hot dog. The park has never looked better.

The team has. The 2013 championship was a magical run but now seems like a fluke. It will take hard work to put these recent struggles behind the team.

Hard work is the most important thing Kennedy learned from Lucchino.

“It’s work ethic,” said Kennedy. “You can outwork your competition. What does that mean? That means being here day in (and) day out, being responsive to every fan, whether it’s an email or a phone call, getting back to people, driving an agenda hard.”

The most important agenda in the coming months will be to create a winning team. The Sox have fallen short too often in recent years.

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.