Brian Kelly '83 Inducted in Assumption College Alumni-Athletics Hall of FameAugust 22, 2006
WORCESTER, Mass. --- If you look up the word "winner" in the dictionary, you would find a picture of Brian Kelly along side.
As a player he demonstrated that size was no factor playing stellar middle linebacker for the Greyhounds. As a coach he brought the level of confidence to new heights as the defensive coordinator of the mid 80s. As the Greyhounds softball coach he ushered the team into previously unchartered territory---the postseason regional rankings and 20-plus wins.
Brian K. Kelly has won two national championships while coaching at Grand Valley State University (Grand Rapids, MI), made 19 tackles in the final game of 1981, and raised the softball program to a new level which included two postseason appearances and the first of what is now an annual southern trip.
He has been elected to the Assumption College Alumni-Athletic Hall of Fame and was formally inducted August 26, 2006 during the annual Football Gala Weekend.
The Greyhounds open their regular Northeast-10 Conference schedule Saturday, September 2, 2006 at L.I.U.-C.W. Post. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.
Kelly captained argumentatively the two most successful teams in Greyhounds' history for head coach Paul Cantiani '73 (also a Hall of Famer). He earned all conference honors in the New England Collegiate Football Conference as both a junior and senior and left with a school-record 314 tackles (currently seventh). His record 214 assists stood until this past season when broken by Chris Grogan '06 (Scottsdale, AZ).
The Hounds posted an 8-3 record in 1981 opening the season with seven straight wins and finishing in the National Collegiate Football Association playoffs-- beating Fairfield before bowing to St. John Fisher in the national semifinal. The following year the team finished 7-1-1---again winning seven straight in midseason.
Kelly then coached for four seasons under Bernie Gaughan (another Hall of Famer) who had served as his coordinator as a player. Gaughan was instrumental in landing Kelly a position with Grand Valley State leading Kelly to new worlds to conquer.
He was also affiliated with the women's softball program for five seasons, one as an assistant coach (1983) and four more as head coach. He left after the 1987 season as the Greyhounds winningiest coach (64-54) with two Northeast-10 Conference playoff appearances and a then-record 23 wins. In his final year he coached six first-team Northeast-10 Conference all-stars along with the Player- (Barbie Barrett '88) and Rookie-of-the-Year (Shonda Becker '90).
He joined the Grand Valley staff in 1987 as a graduate assistant and defensive secondary coach. He was promoted to defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator in 1989 and to head coach two years later.
He finished his 13 seasons at Grand Valley (1991-2003) with a 118-35-2 overall record, including 103-22-2 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Grand Valley won two national titles (2003, 04) and advanced to the final a third time (2002). He was named the American Football Coaches Association Division II National Coach-of-the-Year in both 2002 and 2003. He coached in the Hula Bowl in both 2003 and 2004.
In two seasons at Central Michigan he has instilled new energy into the program---the team had its first winning season since 1998 posting a 6-5 record last year.
Kelly currently serves on the A.F.C.A. Ethics Committee.
A native of Chelsea, MA, he was graduated from St. John's Prep (Danvers, MA) where he starred in three sports---football, hockey and baseball. He was graduated from the College with a B.A. in Political Science in 1983.
Brian and his wife, Paqui, have three children - Patrick Liam (10), Grace Marie (7) and Kenzel Michael (6). They reside in Mount Pleasant, MI.
Kelly's Central Michigan team opens its season Thursday, August 31 when they host Boston College. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. on ESPN-2.
RECORD AS A HEAD COACH
Year FOOTBALL W-L W-L Overall Conference
1991 Grand Valley State, MI 9-3 * 8-2 GLIAC
1992 Grand Valley State, MI 8-3 8-2 GLIAC @
1993 Grand Valley State, MI 6-3-2 6-2-2 GLIAC
1994 Grand Valley State, MI 8-4* 8-2 GLIAC
1995 Grand Valley State, MI 8-3 8-2 GLIAC
1996 Grand Valley State, MI 8-3 8-2 GLIAC
1997 Grand Valley State, MI 9-2 9-1 GLIAC#
1998 Grand Valley State, MI 9-3* 9-1 GLIAC#
1999 Grand Valley State, MI 5-5 5-4 GLIAC
2000 Grand Valley State, MI 7-4 7-3 GLIAC
2001 Grand Valley State, MI 13-1** 9-0 GLIAC#
2002 Grand Valley State, MI 14-0*** 9-0 GLIAC#
2003 Grand Valley State, MI 14-1*** 9-1 GLIAC
2004 Central Michigan 4-7 3-5 MAC
2005 Central Michigan 6-5 5-3 MAC
Totals 128-47-2 111-30-2
* NCAA Division II Playoffs
* NCAA Division II Finalist
** NCAA Division II Champion
@ shared GLIAC Championship
Year SOFTBALL W-L W-L Overall Conference
1984 Assumption 7-12 6-8 Northeast-8
1985 Assumption 16-10 9-5 Northeast-8
1986 Assumption * 18-13 8-6 Northeast-8
1987 Assumption * $ 23-19 8-4 Northeast-8
Totals 64-54 31-23
* Northeast-8 Conference Playoffs
$ MAIAW Tournament