Football coaches all have their own approach to the game. Some, like Chip Kelly, are known to be aggressive, others, like Bill Belecheck are analytical traditional. Then, there are coaches like Kevin Kelley.
Kelley has enjoyed the last 18 seasons racking up over 200 wins in Arkansas high school football at Pulaski Academy. Winning nine state championships in his tenure, Pulaski built himself up to a legendary status on the high school gridiron. However, Kelley takes a unique approach to the game.
Kelley believes in taking advantage of every opportunity to have the football in their offense’s possession. This includes going for it on every fourth down, going for every two-point conversion and kicking an onside kick every time.
At the high school level this worked immensely well. Being named the 2016 USA Today high school football head coach of the year and break records is impressive, but now Kelley takes on a new test.
Going into the 2021 football season Kelley will no longer be coaching on Friday nights, but instead enjoy the new challenge of coaching at the college level on Saturdays. Kelley is now the new head coach of FCS Big South Conference member Presbyterian College in South Carolina.
Presbyterian went 2-10 overall in 2019, the last full college football season, with a record of 1-5 in conference play. In fact, the program has not enjoyed a winning season since the 2014 campaign in which they went 6-4. This may make for a perfect time to indulge in the off the wall game plans that have brought Kelley an immense amount of success in past seasons.
If the first game is any indication the Blue Hose football team is primed to break the streak of losing seasons. Beating St. Andrews by a total score of 84-43, the Presbyterian team was an offensive powerhouse. Starting quarterback, Ren Hefley, tossed 538 yards while racking up 10 touchdowns without throwing an interception. Presbyterian also had 14 players record rushing attempts, with the leader only having 10 attempts.
The wild style of play is without a doubt unusual and perhaps the most untraditional approach to the game a head coach has taken at this level. Kelley will look to replicate his success from the past two decades, and maybe even eventually try it at a power five program.