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Kelly in 2013 ...
Outstanding Nittany Lions Coached ...
Kevin Kelly is in his second year in Happy Valley, overseeing the Nittany Lion men's jump and multi-events, as well as the men's and women's pole vault. Kelly enjoyed a productive opening campaign with the Nittany Lions in 2012-13, coaching one USTFCCCA Honorable Mention All-American, three NCAA Eastern Preliminary Round qualifiers, two Big Ten medalists, and one Penn State record holder.
Kelly coached a trio of high flyers in the high jump during the 2013 campaign with senior Sean Reilly, junior Jon Hendershot, and sophomore Michael McClelland all bettering the seven-foot barrier during the indoor season. McClelland was a top Nittany Lion during the indoor season, clearing a lifetime-best 7-1 (2.16)
Hendershot and Reilly continued to improve during the outdoor season, led by Hendershot's school-record tying leap of 7-3.25 (2.22) at the Jim Thorpe Invitational. Reilly would enjoy a stellar final season in the Blue and White, clearing a career-high 7-2.25 (2.19) at the LSU Battle on the Bayou. Reilly continued to excel into the postseason, qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the event, where we would finish 19th overall to earn USTFCCCA Honorable Mention All-America status. Both Hendershot and Reilly were consistent throughout the year, as the pair of Nittany Lions turned in scoring finishes at both the Big Ten Indoor and Outdoor Championships.
Horizontal jump specialist Brian Leap also shined under Kelly's watch in 2013, earning bronze-medal finishes in the triple jump at both the Big Ten Indoor and Outdoor Championships. Kelly guided Leap to outstanding improvements during the year, as the then-sophomore improved his lifetime-best effort in the triple jump to 50-10.25 (15.50) during the indoor season. Leap also made great strides in the long jump, ending the season with a personal-best 24-0.25 (7.32) at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, which was also good for a fifth-place finish in the competition.
Kelly signed on at Penn State in the summer of 2012 after enjoying a highly successful 11-year coaching stint at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Prior to his departure from New Brunswick, he was overseeing the efforts of all the Scarlet Knight's field event athletes.
Kelly was also successful on the recruiting trail in 2013, adding in transfer triple jump standout Steve Waithe from Shippensburg University. Waithe was the PSAC Indoor and Outdoor Champion in the his signature event, and went on to All-America finishes at both Divison II Championships in 2013. Kelly also welcomes in-state sensation Cody Minnig from Neshaminy High School. With a PR of 10.73, Minnig was the No. 6 ranked Pennsylvania prep in the 100 meters in 2013, coming away with a fifth-place finish at the PIAA Outdoor Championships. Minnig was just as successful at the PFTCA State Championships during his senior indoor season, finishing second in the 60, third in the long jump, and fifth in the 200. Minnig boasts a long jump PR of 23-8.
On the women's side, Kelly adds standout pole vaulter Lexi Masterson from Hempfield Area. Masterson was the PIAA runner-up in the event as a senior, and owns a lifetime-best clearance of 12-0.
"We're honored to have Kevin Kelly join coaching staff as he brings a wealth of experience in east coast recruiting and competitiveness," said Director and Head Coach of Track and Field/Cross Country Beth Alford-Sullivan upon Kelly's hiring. "His resume speaks for itself, as he is a first class coach, educator, and team player. We're excited be starting the new year with Kevin at the helm of the men's jumps."
Kelly arrived at Rutgers in 2001, helping the Scarlet Knights to outstanding success in the Big East Conference, including three conference team titles. Individually, Kelly has guided 19 Big East Champions, as well as 45 All-Big East performers. In 2004, his athletes swept the top three spots in the decathlon at the Big East Outdoor Championships. Over his career, Kelly has led six athletes to the NCAA Championships.
"I am extremely excited to be joining the men's and women's track and field program at Penn State University," said Kelly. "Coach Alford-Sullivan has continued to build a highly respected and nationally recognized program for both its athletic and academic achievements. I am looking forward to recruiting and working with the student-athletes to achieve our collective goals in the classroom and on the track."
Kelly, who was elevated to "Associate Head Coach" status for the Scarlet Knights in 2008, has undoubtedly made a mark on the Rutgers' record books, as Kelly-coached athletes currently own eight school records. Off the track, Kelly maintained the role of the Scarlet Knights' Recruiting Coordinator, while also serving as the men's track and field coaching staff liaison to Academic Support.
An outstanding athlete in his own right, Kelly was a three-time All-American in the decathlon while competing at Kutztown University, earning runner-up honors at the 1998 NCAA Outdoor Championships. In 1998, Kelly, who still owns Kutztown school records in the decathlon and 110-met hurdles, was named Pennsylvania State Athlete Conference (PSAC) Athlete of the Year. He is also a Kutztown Hall of Fame inductee, and a member of the Golden Bears' "Top 30 Athletes of the 20th Century." Kelly earned his B.A in Political Science in 1999.
Prior to Rutgers, Kelly spent several seasons at Lehigh University, coaching all Mountain Hawk throwers. He is married to Maisha Kelly, who is a Senior Associate Director of Athletics and Senior Woman Administrator at Bucknell University.