By Colin Condon ‘20
Everybody loves a great homecoming. Coach Matt Kelly from the Class of 1996 worked as a teacher and football coach at Brother Rice from 2003 until 2015.
From 2015 until 2018, he was the head football coach at Chicago Hope Academy and a world history teacher.
After quarterbacking at 99th and Pulaski, Coach Kelly earned a scholarship to continue his football career at Eastern Michigan University until 2001. While playing at Eastern, he transitioned into a tight end. Kelly would be blocking and catching touchdowns instead of throwing them.
After his playing time was up, he began to dabble in coaching. He began as a graduate assistant coach, but soon decided that coaching in college was not the lifestyle for him.
Coaching in high school was a different story, though. Coach Kelly was given an opportunity to teach and coach at his alma mater, Brother Rice. He would teach a morality class to freshmen and coach during his first stint at Brother Rice.
Coach Kelly said, “Coaching college football was a big commitment, and I soon decided that I did not want to do that for the rest of my life.”
“I still wanted to work with young men. Mr. Alberts gave me a call about a teaching position, and it’s been great ever since then.”
Coach Kelly returned to Brother Rice this year, this time as the Director of Alumni Engagement and the annual giving program, assistant coach, and run game coordinator for the Crusader football team.
“I always loved teaching, but it was time to move on with my career. I like being involved with my former high school. Brother Rice has a special place in my heart.” Kelly said, “Engaging with alumni from my former school is exciting to me.”
“Coming back to Brother Rice was always on my mind. This year there was an opportunity to come back home as an administrator that was too good to pass up.”
Outside Brother Rice, Coach Kelly loves spending time with his family and dogs. He has four kids, one at Vanderbilt, and three that have graduated college already.
Brother Rice is a special place to Coach Kelly, both as a student and staff member: “I love running into former students. Talking about life with kids I used to teach is very cool. I like being able to see if they remember anything about my class.”
“I met my best friend in this school. We actually hated each other until our swim class freshman year. Now, we look back to that time and laugh, because we are still best friends to this day.”
Sean Corbett, current offensive lineman playing for Coach Kelly said, “Coach Kelly pushes us day in and day out at practice. Our success outside the football field is more important to Coach Kelly than anything else.”
“I am very thankful for everything Coach has taught me this year and I wish I had a couple more years playing for him,” says Corbett.
Coach Kelly, welcome home. We are glad to have you back in the halls.