June 25, 2011
Photo Gallery (courtesy of www.gvsulakers.com)
Allendale, Mich. — The Kelly Family Sports Center was unveiled today in a building dedication ceremony on the campus of Grand Valley State University. The Kelly Family Sports Center, formerly known as the Laker Turf Building, opened for operation in the fall of 2008. Brian Kelly, the current head football coach at Notre Dame, was the head football coach at Grand Valley State for 13 years (1991-2003), leading the Lakers to a 118-35-2 mark with two NCAA DII Football National Championships (2002 and 2003). The Kelly Family Sports Center dedication was held before an overflow crowd of more than 400 family, friends and supporters at the Kelly Family Sports Center.
In addition to Kelly’s sterling 118-35-2 overall mark, he guided the Lakers to a 103-22-2 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference record. Brian guided GVSU to five GLIAC titles, six NCAA DII playoff appearances and his teams won eight or more games 10 times during his 13-year career. Kelly tutored 60 All-Americans, including a single-season record 11 All- Americans during the 2002 championship season. Brian led GVSU to the NCAA DII National Championship game in 2001, followed by back-to-back DII National Championships in 2002 and 2003. Kelly, who was named the American Football Coaches Association DII National Coach of the Year twice (2002-03), turned GVSU into an offensive machine as his 2001 squad averaged 58.4 points and 600.8 yards per game.
“This is a tremendous honor to have our family name adorn such an impressive building that serves multiple departments on the campus,” said Kelly. “Grand Valley State will always have a special place in the hearts of Paqui and I because of our history with the school and the way the community embraced our family. Many of our fondest memories stem from our time at Grand Valley and it is truly an honor for all of us to be associated with the university in this way,” added Kelly.
The entire Kelly family made an impact at GVSU as Brian and his wife, Paqui, met while both were employed at Grand Valley. Brian was an assistant football coach and Paqui worked in the financial Aid Office where she served as a financial aid counselor from 1989-92. Paqui received her master’s degree in education from Grand Valley in 1998. Patrick, Grace and Kenzel, the three Kelly children, were born while Brian was the head football coach at GVSU and enjoyed participating in campus activities with their parents.
Grand Valley State President Thomas J. Haas said Brian Kelly made great contributions to the success of Laker athletics and also Grand Valley State University.
“His teams and victories helped establish the future of athletics for Grand Valley,” Haas said. “So it is only fitting that this building, which serves all our students, should be named for the Kelly family.”
The Kelly Family Sports Center is a 138,000 square foot building that houses a regulation football field, a six-lane, 300-meter track, all of the amenities for field events, batting cages that drop from the ceiling, an athletic training room, lockerrooms, multi-purpose rooms, classrooms, bleacher seating for 800 in the grandstand and bleachers on the field level for another 260 spectators. In addition to intercollegiate athletics, the movement science department, campus recreation/intramurals and club sports also use the facility.
“Our success in Laker Athletics can be directly attributed to the standards set by Brian Kelly during his coaching tenure at Grand Valley State University,” said Tim Selgo, GVSU’s Director of Athletics. “Brian and Paqui have continued to express their support and love for GVSU wherever Brian’s career has taken them.We are honored to dedicate and name this facility for the Kelly family.”
Kelly, who was inducted into the Grand Valley State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009, was the head coach at Central Michigan for three years (2004-06) and the University of Cincinnati for three years (2007-09) after leaving Grand Valley State. He led the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame to an 8-4 mark in his first year at the helm in 2010.
Grand Valley State University has a national reputation for excellence in athletics that can be directly attributed to the standards set by Brian Kelly in his years as head football coach from 1991-2003. His strength of character and dedication to our student athletes set us on a course that will benefit our students for generations to come.
Brian’s coaching career at Grand Valley started as a graduate assistant football coach. He was also an assistant coach and defensive coordinator, eventually becoming the head football coach in 1991. During his time as head coach, he compiled a record of 118-35-2 while winning five conference championships and two NCAA Division II national championships in 2002 and 2003. In 2009, Brian was inducted into the GVSU Athletic Hall of Fame.
Following his years at Grand Valley State University, Brian went on to highly successful tenures as head coach at Central Michigan university, the University of Cincinnati and the University of Notre Dame.
Brian and Paqui Kelly met while both were employed at Grand Valley. Brian was an assistant football coach and Paqui worked in the financial Aid Office where she served as a financial aid counselor from 1989-1992. Paqui received her master’s degree in education from Grand Valley in 1998. Patrick, Grace and Kenzel, the three Kelly children, were born while Brian was Grand Valley State University’s head football coach and enjoyed participating in campus activities with their parents.
The entire Kelly family played an integral role in Brian’s success. Higher education has been at the center of the Kelly family’s life and the family generously supports the institutions in which they are a part. Throughout Brian’s career they have continuously expressed their love and support for Grand Valley State University.
This facility is used by all students at the university, including those in academic classes, intramural sports, club sports and intercollegiate athletics. Grand Valley State University is honored to dedicate and name this sports center for the Kelly family.