Featured alum: Mike Kelly '70
Former University of Dayton Head Coach Mike Kelly ’70, is one of the winningest coaches in college football history (246-54-1) – in any division, for any size school. He’s also a seven-time national Coach of the Year. And, in mid-July, Kelly enters the College Football Hall of Fame.
In 2002, Kelly became the second-fastest coach in NCAA history to score 200 wins. He did it in just 242 games – faster than Joe Paterno, faster than Bo Schembechler, faster than Woody Hayes, faster than Bear Bryant.
Manchester has always known Kelly’s greatness, honoring him as its 1988 Claude Wolfe Coach of the Year, as an MC Hall of Famer (as a member of the 1968 football team) and with a 2008 Alumni Honor Award. As a Spartan, Kelly quarterbacked the football squad and was a baseball catcher, lettering all four years. Off the field, he earned his MC degree in health and physical education.
At a UD news conference announcing his selection to the College Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, an overwhelmed Kelly declared: “I was in the right place. I was working with the right people. And they let me do my job.”
Kelly joined the UD coaching staff as defensive coordinator in 1977, assuming the head coach title three years later for the then-Division III Flyers. During his first 12 years as head coach, UD played for the national title four times, winning in 1989. Coach Kelly also expected a strong classroom performance from his student-athletes, and they delivered. He coached 44 Academic All-Americans.
Kelly also has a master’s degree from Ball State University and high school coaching experience. He entered collegiate coaching in 1975 as defensive coordinator for Hanover College. Kelly retired in 2007, and is still active in the University of Dayton community, as associate athletic director, mentoring athletes and coaches and providing color commentary for Flyer football games on News Talk Radio WHIO.
The 2011 Enshrinement Ceremony for the College Football Hall of Fame begins at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 16 in South Bend. Kelly is one of six honorees in the small college division. For details about the event and the Hall of Fame, click here.