Mike Kelly (gridiron football)

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Mike Kelly
Sport(s) Football
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Widener
Conference MAC
Record 31–13
Biographical details
Born (1958-02-11) February 11, 1958 (age 60)
Waterbury, Connecticut
Playing career
1976–1979 Bluffton
Position(s) Quarterback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1980–1981 Ridgedale HS (OH) (RB/S)
1982 Edinboro (WR)
1983–1985 Marietta (RB)
1986 Ohio Wesleyan (OC)
1987–1989 Capital (OC)
1990–1991 San Francisco State (associate HC)
1992–1996 Winnipeg Blue Bombers (OC)
1997–1999 Valdosta State
2001 Orlando Rage (OC)
2002 Philadelphia Eagles (OA/QC)
2008 Edmonton Eskimos (WR)
2009 Winnipeg Blue Bombers
2014–present Widener
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
2001 Philadelphia Eagles (advance scout)
2003–2005 Washington Redskins (pro pers. asst.)
2009 Winnipeg Blue Bombers (GM)
Head coaching record
Overall 46–29 (college)
7–11 (CFL)
Tournaments 2–1 (NCAA D-III playoffs)
Accomplishments and honors
1 MAC (2014)
2014 Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Coach of the Year, 2014 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) South Region Co-Coach of the Year

Mike Kelly (born February 11, 1958) is an American gridiron football coach and former player, scout, and executive. He is currently the head football coach at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania, a position he has held since 2014. Kelly served as the head football coach at Valdosta State University from 1997 to 1999. In 2009, he was the head coach and general manager for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He has served as an assistant coach at the high school football level, for several college football teams, and for professional teams in the CFL, XFL, and the National Football League (NFL). Kelly played college football as a quarterback at Bluffton College—now Bluffton University—in the late 1970s.

Playing career and education[edit]

Kelly graduated Muncie Northside High School in 1976, where as a senior he set a school record for passes attempted and completed in a single season. In 1996 Kelly was inducted into the Delaware County, Indiana Athletic Hall of Fame.

Kelly played quarterback for Bluffton College from 1976 to 1979 and earned his bachelor's degree in health, physical education and recreation. When he graduated, Kelly ranked third in career completions (95), fourth in career attempts (242) and fifth in career passing yardage (1,028). He was just the sixth player in BC history to pass for over 1,000 yards. In 2002, Kelly was inducted into the Bluffton College Hall of Fame.

Kelly earned a master's degree in education at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 1983.

Coaching and teaching career[edit]

In 2014 Kelly led Widener University to its record setting 20th Middle Atlantic Conference Championship and an Elite Eight appearance in the NCAA Championship Play-Offs. His record twelve consecutive wins broke a school record that had stood since 1912 for wins by a first year coach. For his efforts he was named the MAC Coach of the Year and the ECAC South Co-Coach of the Year.

Kelly was the offensive play-caller with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers between 1992 and 1996, as part of the teams that captured three regular season division titles and appeared in the Grey Cup twice. Kelly's offence set 29 club records during his tenure in Winnipeg, including Matt Dunigan's record 713 yards passing in a game.

Kelly was the head coach at Valdosta State University from 1997 to 1999. In his three seasons there, Kelly coached 23 players to all-conference honours and had two players earn All-American status and four more recruited players later achieving All-American status. His VSU teams set 13 school records during Kelly's tenure.

In 2000, Kelly added the XFL to his coaching resume, where he worked as the offensive coordinator for the Orlando Rage. The Rage went a league best 8–2 during that season, winning the Eastern Division. Kelly's offence led the league in red zone scoring percentage, with quarterback Jeff Brohm named First-Team All-XFL.

Kelly became a professor of sports management at Drexel University in Philadelphia instructing both undergraduate and graduate courses in coaching and leadership. In 2006–07, Kelly was recognized by Drexel with the "Make a Difference Award" for outstanding mentoring and teaching.

Kelly spent five years in the National Football League working as an advanced pro scout for the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles where he also was an offensive assistant/quality control. During his time with the Eagles, while working alongside head coach Andy Reid, the club won two NFC East championships, while Kelly also coached in the 2003 Pro Bowl.

In 2008 Kelly was the receivers coach for the Edmonton Eskimos. Quarterback Ricky Ray had a personal best 5,600 yards passing while slot receivers Kamau Peterson caught over 100 passes and was named Most Outstanding Canadian Player and Kelly Campbell led the CFL averaging 23.7 yards per reception.

Kelly served as the head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2009. The team saw five players leave the team to sign with the National Football League in the option year of their Canadian Football League contract while four other import players were invited to private try-outs with NFL clubs. Kelly also coordinated the offense for half of the season, in which the team went 7–11 missing a home play-off berth by a single game.

Head coaching record[edit]


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Valdosta State Blazers (Gulf South Conference) (1997–1999)
1997 Valdosta State 6–5 5–3 T–4th
1998 Valdosta State 5–6 4–5 T–5th
1999 Valdosta State 4–5 3–4 T–6th
Valdosta State: 15–16 12–12
Widener Pride (Middle Atlantic Conference) (2014–present)
2014 Widener 12–1 9–0 1st L NCAA Division III Quarterfinal
2015 Widener 6–4 6–3 4th
2016 Widener 6–4 6–3 4th
2017 Widener 7–4 7–2 T–2nd
Widener: 31–13 28–8
Total: 46–29
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth


Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Result
WPG 2009 7 11 0 .389 3rd, East - - Missed Playoffs
Total 7 11 0 .389 0 Division
- - 0 Grey Cups


External links[edit]