Feb. 23, 2012
CLEVELAND - Former University of Dayton Head Football Coach Mike Kelly, has been named the 2011 Lee Tressel Ohio College Coach of the Year by the Northeastern Ohio Chapter of the National Football Foundation, after having one of the most decorated coaching careers in state history. Coach Kelly will be honored at the 24th Annual Scholar-Athlete Awards banquet on Tuesday, May 8 at LaCentre Banquet Facility in Westlake.
Kelly was inducted into the National Football Foundation's College Football Hall of Fame in 2011, after finishing his career as one of the winningest coaches in college football history, producing a 27-year record (all at UD) of 246-54-1, a UD record, and an .819 winning percentage. That is the fourth-best percentage among coaches with at least 25 years experience. At the time of his retirement from coaching, only two active coaches at the Division I level -- Florida State's Bobby Bowden and the late Joe Paterno of Penn State-- had more wins than Kelly. Kelly's 27 years as a head coach is also the longest tenure of any head coach in any sport at the Dayton.
Kelly's coaching career came to an end when Kelly stepped down as head coach of the Flyers in 2008, but took on the duties as senior associate athletics directly immediately following his coaching tenure.
The Ludlow Falls, Ohio native has dedicated his life to mentoring, Kelly had no trouble stepping into his new expanded role. In addition to overseeing the departments of academics, athletics communication and equipment, he serves as an adviser to up-and-coming coaches.
A true reflection of Kelly's character is the way he operated the football program. Taking a stand on integrity has always been paramount in his philosophy and the Ohio High School Athletic Association took notice, honoring Kelly with the OHSAA Ethics and Integrity Award, which is presented annually to an Ohioan who has displayed outstanding ethical behavior and integrity in performing his duties and is a role model for others.
In February of 2008, Kelly became the 150th member of one of UD's most exclusive clubs, the University of Dayton Athletic Hall of Fame. He was the sole inductee that year.
Dayton went to the national title game four times under Kelly's leadership, winning the 1989 national title. He was the Pioneer Football League's Coach of the Year seven out of the first 15 years the league was in existence, and was a national coach of the year seven times. Forty-eight of UD's 50 Academic All-America selections played for Kelly, and UD produced 84 first team All-Americans in the Kelly era.
Joining Kelly on the banquet dais will be featured speaker Archie Manning, former New Orleans and Ole Miss standout and father of Peyton and Eli; 2011 Distinguished American Award Winner, David Gilbert, President & CEO at Positively Cleveland/President & CEO at Greater Cleveland Sports Commission; former Browns standout Brian Brennan, who will be awarded the Dino Lucarelli Award; and the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Tim Rogers and Don Friedman (posthumously) will be awarded the Dick Zunt Ohio Sportswriter's Award.
For more information on the banquet, please contact Erin Dengler (440-788-7472) or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.