DALLAS – The University of Dayton and The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that they will jointly honor Coach Mike Kelly with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments®, on October 1 during the game between the Flyers and Butler University, which starts at 1 p.m. ET.
"It's all about the people and the place. I was in the right place and had the chance to work with a lot of great people," Kelly at the time of the announcement of his induction. "Certainly, we won a few more than we lost, but I look back at all the people who had a piece in this. I might get two pieces, but everybody involved has a piece of it.”
The NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute program is a hallowed tradition that began with the inaugural class in 1951, and to this day the salutes remain a special part of each inductee’s Hall of Fame experience. During the NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, each inductee returns to his school to be introduced to a home football crowd as a Hall of Famer. He is presented a Hall of Fame plaque that will remain on permanent display at the institution.
With three national championships and seven national Coach of the Year awards to his credit, Mike Kelly is the winningest coach in Football Championship Subdivision history, winning 82 percent of his games. With 27 years and a 246-54-1 all-time record at Dayton, Kelly places among the top 20 for coaches across all divisions in both wins and winning percentage.
“Mike Kelly is a class act who ran a football program that emphasized winning both on and off the field,” said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. “His passion for his players clearly has built a legacy that extends far beyond his phenomenal accomplishments as the winningest coach in FCS history. The NFF is thrilled be honoring him in front of the Flyer Faithful on October 1 in Dayton.”
Kelly began his coaching career in 1981 with a 12-1 mark and Kodak Coach of the Year honors. His teams would go onto to win three national championships in 1989 (Division III), 2002 and 2007 (I-AA Mid-Major) while dominating the Pioneer Football League, including nine titles in 15 years.
Kelly took the Flyers to the Division III playoffs eight times, enjoyed two unbeaten seasons and 12 double-digit win seasons. He earned Coach of the Year honors six times, and he shares the distinction with College Football Hall of Fame coaches Tom Osborne, Joe Paterno and Barry Switzer as the only coaches to reach the 150-win mark by their 16th season at the helm.
Kelly coached 56 First Team All-Americans, 94 First Team All-Conference players and 44 Academic All-Americans, including 2007 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Brandon Cramer. He is the only Flyers coach to receive Dayton’s Lackner Award, which is awarded to a member of the university community who demonstrates high character in service to the school.
A recipient of the Silver Hope Award from the Miami Valley Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Kelly serves on the NFF Dayton Chapter board of directors and as a trustee for the Huesman Heart Foundation. A 2008 inductee to the Dayton Athletics Hall of Fame, Kelly currently serves as the senior associate director of athletics at Dayton and lives in Kettering,
Kelly joins former Dayton Coach Harry Baujan in the hall, marking the second inductee for the Flyers. For a complete list of players and coaches in the hall, please visit www.collegefootball.org.
Kelly was officially inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame during the Annual Enshrinement Festival on July 16 in South Bend, Ind. Other members of the 2011 Divisional Hall of Fame Class included Dexter Coakley (Appalachian State), Mike Favor (North Dakota State), Charles Haley (James Madison), Mickey Kobrosky (Trinity, Conn.) and Coach Bill Manlove (Widener University [Pa.], Delaware Valley College [Pa.], La Salle University).
The NFF launched its Divisional Hall of Fame program in 1996 during its annual enshrinement festival. A total of 130 players and coaches, counting this year’s class, have been inducted from the divisional ranks, including Terry Bradshaw (Louisiana Tech), Walter Payton (Jackson State), John Randle (Texas A&M-Kingsville), Jerry Rice (Mississippi Valley State), and coach Eddie Robinson (Grambling State). Of the 4.79 million who have played college football since 1869, only 896 players and 192 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
The 2011 season marks the second season that Fidelity Investments®, a leading provider of not-for-profit workplace retirement savings plans in higher education, is serving as the national presenting sponsor of the NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes. The NFF and Fidelity recently announced an expanded multi-year initiative between the two organizations to celebrate the scholar-athlete ideal and a joint commitment to higher education. The NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes are one component the sponsorship, which also includes Fidelity being named the first presenting sponsor of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards in the 53-year history of the prestigious program.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL FOUNDATION & COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 121 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame, the NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, Play It Smart, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, and scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFFpresents the MacArthur Bowl, the William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings. For more information, please visit www.footballfoundation.org.