Everett E. Kelly

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Everett E. Kelly
Everett E Kelly.jpg
Kelly c. 1923
Vanderbilt Commodores – No. 13; 1
Position Guard, center
Class Graduate
Career history
College Kentucky (1915; 1918–1919)
Vanderbilt (1922–1924)
Personal information
Born: (1898-01-08)January 8, 1898
Whitesville, Kentucky
Died: August 15, 1983(1983-08-15) (aged 85)
Marietta, Georgia
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight 170 lb (77 kg)
Career highlights and awards

Everett Edward "Tuck" Kelly (January 8, 1898 – August 15, 1983) was an American football player who was an All-Southern guard for the Vanderbilt Commodores football team of Vanderbilt University.

Early years[edit]

Everett was born January 8, 1898 in Whitesville, Kentucky to Charles Alphonzo Kelley and Mary Alice Ralph. His father was a farmer and a service station operator. Centre College star "Hump" Tanner was from nearby Owensboro.

College football[edit]

University of Kentucky[edit]

Kelly played for the Kentucky Wildcats football teams of the University of Kentucky, selected for All-Kentucky teams in an era dominated by Centre. He was elected treasurer of the freshman class.[1]

Vanderbilt University[edit]

Tuck Kelly started at guard for Dan McGugin's Vanderbilt football teams from 1922 to 1924. He was a prominent member of Commodores teams that compiled a win-loss-tie record of 20–2–3 (.860) over his three years, and won two conference titles.


Kelly transferred to Vanderbilt in 1922, having formerly played center for the Kentucky Wildcats. Tuck was a starter for the scoreless tie with Michigan at the dedication of Dudley Field. After the season, he was selected for Billy Evans's All-Southern team; his "Southern Honor Roll."[2]


The rematch with the Michigan Wolverines at Ferry Field in 1923, saw Michigan win a bitterly fought contest 3 to 0. Michigan went on to have an undefeated season, and is one of the teams to claim a national title in '23. After the game, the referee McDonald approached Kelly and told him, "You are the first individual I've complimented after a game in which I officiated, but I want to tell you that I never saw a better guard than you are."[3] One of the four touchdowns by Gil Reese in the 35 to 7 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs was a 5-yard run behind Kelly. At the end of the year, Kelly was selected for the All-Southern squad.[4]  He was elected to captain the Commodores the next year.[3]


The 1924 team, captained by Kelly, was dubbed in Fred Russell's Fifty Years of Vanderbilt Football "the most eventful season in the history of Vanderbilt football." On opening day against Henderson-Brown, Vanderbilt won 13–0. One of Vandy's two scores came on a punt blocked by Kelly, recovered by Hek Wakefield.[5] The third week of play saw the Commodores tie with the Quantico Marines by a score of 13–13. Kelly was injured in this game. He would sit on the bench the rest of the year except for five minutes of the Tulane game the next week.[6] Lynn Bomar suffered a brain hemorrhage in the game against Georgia that year, and in the final game against Sewanee, Wakefield broke his leg. Thus as the season finished, three of Vanderbilt's All-Southern selections for 1923 sat on the bench.


  1. ^ "Freshman Class Elects Officers". The Kentucky Kernel. October 13, 1915. p. 4. 
  2. ^ closed access publication – behind paywall "Billy Evans' Honor Roll." The Grand Rapids Press December 9, 1922: 16.
  3. ^ a b "Vandy Captain Gets High Rating in South". Modesto Evening News. December 22, 1923. 
  4. ^ closed access publication – behind paywall "All Star Eleven To Be Rewarded By Atlanta Paper". Times-Picayune. December 9, 1923. 
  5. ^ Russell, Fred, and Maxwell Edward Benson. Fifty Years of Vanderbilt Football. Nashville, TN, 1938, p. 43
  6. ^ Vanderbilt Yearbook, The Commodore 1925