In 2004, Kelly's efforts helped Navy finish 26th in the country in scoring defense (19.83), win a school-record tying 10 games (the most wins since 1905), go to back-to-back bowl games for the second time in school history, win the Emerald Bowl (just the fifth bowl win in school history) and win the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy in back-to-back years for only the second time in school history.
Kelly was instrumental in the development of linebackers Lane Jackson and Bobby McClarin as they emerged as two of Navy's top defensive players. In 2003, Kelly helped the defense finish 14th in the nation in pass defense, 42nd in pass efficiency defense (116th the year before), 34th in total defense and 34th in scoring defense (108th the year before) as Navy won eight games, the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy and a berth in the Houston Bowl. In Kelly's first season at Navy, the Mids were devastated by injuries at nearly every position, but stayed together and played their best at the end of the year holding Army to just 12 points in the season finale.
Kelly, 43, came to Navy from Marshall where he coordinated the Thundering Herd defense from 1996-98 before taking an assistant's job at Syracuse. After one season with the Orangemen as the defensive backs coach, he returned to Marshall as the defensive coordinator for 2000 and 2001.
His most successful season was in 1998 when Marshall's defense ranked 23rd nationally, including 16th in scoring defense, 14th against the pass and 25th against the run.
In 1996, Marshall led the Southern Conference in total defense and scoring defense. In the I-AA quarterfinals, Kelly's defense held Furman to minus 9 yards rushing.
A native of Rochester, N.Y., Kelly is a 1978 graduate of Brockport High School. He earned his B.S. degree in physical education from Springfield College in 1982 and received his master's degree in physical education from Southern Connecticut State in 1986.
Kelly played football for three years at Springfield College before an injury ended his playing career. During his senior year at Springfield, Kelly joined the coaching staff at Longmeadow High School as the defensive coordinator. After a year at Longmeadow, he was named the head coach at The Fieldston School in the Bronx, N.Y., from 1982-83.
Kelly joined the collegiate ranks in 1984 as the outside linebackers coach at Southern Connecticut State for two seasons before moving on to Syracuse as a graduate assistant (1986-87). After two years at Syracuse, he earned his first job as a defensive coordinator at Bowdoin College (1988) and moved on to Northeastern as the defensive backs coach for two seasons (1989-90). He spent two years as running backs (`91) and linebacker (`95) coach at Dartmouth and had a three-year stint as the linebackers coach at Tulane (1992-94) before going to Marshall.
He is married to the former Kathy McDonald of North Andover, Mass. They are the parents of three children, Alexandra (17), Patrick (14) and Ryan (13).
# GO NAVY #