Mike Kelly was named Head Football Coach at Widener University on February 28, 2014 having served as the head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2009 rebuilding a roster that resulted in five players signing with the National Football League in the option year of their Canadian Football League contract. Kelly coordinated the offense for half of his only season resulting in another Blue Bomber record when Fred Reid rushed for 260 yards against the B.C. Lions surpassing Blaise Bryant‘s old record of 249 yards in a single game set in 1994 against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Kelly’s first tenure with the Blue Bombers. The Bombers as a team ran for 393 yards in that game against the B.C. Lions in 2009.
Kelly, a former Blue Bombers offensive coordinator, came to Winnipeg with close to 30 years of coaching experience. Kelly was the offensive play-caller with the 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.
In 2008 Kelly was the receivers coach for the Edmonton Eskimos. Prior to that, the Waterbury,CT native was a professor of sports management at Drexel University in Philadelphia instructing both undergraduate and graduate courses in coaching and leadership. In 2006-2007 Kelly was recognized by Drexel Universityas he was awarded a ‘Make a Difference Award’ for outstanding mentoring and teaching.
Kelly has five years of NFL experience 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 one of the NFL’s great coaches Andy Reid, the club won two Eastern Division Championships, while Kelly also coached in the 2003 Pro Bowl.
In 2000, Kelly added the XFL to his extensive 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 QB Jeff Brohm named First-Team All-XFL.
Kelly was the head coach at Valdosta State University (GA) from 1997-1999. In his three seasons there, Kelly coached 23 players to all-conference honours and had two players earn All-American status with four more his staff recruited over their careers also become All-American’s . His VSU teams set 13 school records during Kelly’s tenure.
Kelly played quarterback at Bluffton College (OH), and earned his bachelor’s degree in health, physical education and recreation. He later earned a master’s degree in education at Edinboro (PA). In 2002, Kelly was honoured by his alma mater, and inducted into the Bluffton College Hall of Fame. In 1996 Kelly was inducted into the Delaware County (IN) Athletic Hall of Fame as a 1976 graduate of Muncie Northside High School where as a senior he set a school record for passes attempted and completed in a single season.
“Coach Mike” served as the Vice President of Football Operations for ProSource Sports, LLC based out of Monroe, LA. The agency is the largest player representation organization in the state of Louisiana. In the 2013 NFL draft they had three players selected in the top 95 with one (Barkevious Mingo) going in the number six spot of the first round to the Cleveland Browns.