Presbyterian hiring anti-punting HS coach Kelley

Kevin Kelley, one of the most successful high school football coaches in the country and well-known for his unique approach to strategy that includes never punting and almost always onside-kicking, will be named the head coach of Presbyterian College on Friday, a school official tells ESPN.

Kelley moves to the FCS ranks after a historic run at Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, Arkansas, that includes nine state titles and being named the USA Today High School Coach of the Year in 2016.

His quantitative approach to decision-making has earned him significant praise and endeared him to many coaches and football fans, as he has been the subject of several profile pieces, including an ESPN feature on Grantland in 2014.

The methodology employed by Kelley might be unconventional, but the results have been indisputable, which includes a 13-0 record this past year, his final at Pulaski Academy.

Notable players developed under Kelley include new Patriots tight end Hunter Henry, who signed a three-year, $37.5M deal this offseason to join New England. His new head coach, Bill Belichick, is a longtime admirer of Kelley, whom Belichick described as “probably the top high school coach in the country” during a news conference this past December.

Presbyterian is coming off of a 4-3 spring season after having its fall season postponed due to COVID-19. A member of the Pioneer League, Presbyterian has a pair of recent players from the program in the NFL: Patriots All-Pro special teams player Justin Bethel and Colts cornerback Rock Ya-Sin, who finished his college career at Temple before being drafted in the second round in 2019.

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