Over 50 high school head coaches, 16 college assistants and one NFL head coach, Jon Gruden played for Mike Kelly.
DAYTON -- The University of Dayton has announced that former Flyer football coach Mike Kelly, known as much for his practical, no-nonsense leadership as his Hall of Fame won-loss record, has been honored in a most fitting way.
Kelly, who will be inducted into the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame In South Bend, Ind. on July 16, will have his legacy spotlighted with the establishment of the Mike Kelly Football Coaching Internship Endowment. The endowment will provide resources for young men interested in the football coaching profession and help them begin their careers at the University of Dayton.
A $1 million commitment from the family of a UD football alumnus was donated anonymously to initiate the endowment fund. It will generate operational support for assistant football coaches in perpetuity. The goal of the fund is to allow two full-time individuals pursuing a career in the coaching profession the opportunity to impact the lives of young men in the same character, integrity and tradition that has defined Kelly and Dayton football.
“We are delighted to have the generosity of a wonderful Dayton football family impact the program in such a transformational way”, stated Brian Tracy, UD’s Director of Development for Athletics. “They recognized firsthand the impact Mike Kelly has had on not only Flyer football, but the entire University of Dayton campus and community. Through their kindness, we now have a way to fund the next generation of coaches.”
The Mike Kelly Football Coaching Internship Endowment is an expansion of UD’s coaching internship program. Initiated in 1999 with the Tony Ernst Memorial Graduate Internship position, it now also includes the Joe Minham, Sr. Coaching Assistantship Position.
Kelly is one of the winningest coaches in college football history, with a 27-year record (all at UD) of 246-54-1 and an .819 winning percentage. That is the fourth-best percentage among coaches with at least 25 years experience. Florida A&M's legendary Jake Gaither is No. 1 (.844), Nebraska's Tom Osborne is second (.836) and Michigan's Fielding Yost (.828) is third.
Kelly was the Pioneer Football League's Coach of the Year seven out of the first 15 years the league was in existence and a national coach of the year seven times. Forty-eight of UD's 50 Academic All-America selections have played for Kelly, and UD produced 84 First Team All-Americans in the Kelly era.
Seventy of his former players are football coaches, including 16 at the collegiate level and one, Jon Gruden, in the NFL. In addition, two of Kelly’s former assistant coaches are also currently assistant coaches in the NFL.
For additional information about the Mike Kelly Football Coaching Internship Endowment or to make a gift in Coach Kelly’s honor, please contact Brian Tracy, Director of Development for Athletics at (937) 229-3999.