Head Coach Kevin Kelly Announces 23 Student-Athlete Recruiting Class for Georgetown Football Program
Hoyas add 13 players to offense, six to defense and four special-teamers
McCabe will head to South Florida for mini-camp this weekend
End of the Year Banquet and Blue & Gray Scrimmage
Sean Campbell awarded No. 35 Joe Eacobacci Memorial Jersey; Campbell, Dustin Wharton, Isaiah Kempf and Daniel Sprotte named captains
Hoyas conclude spring practice with scrimmage open to public
When Kevin Kelly was named head football coach at Georgetown University in January 2006, he set his chief goals as laying the foundation for a successful program in the Patriot League and the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level, while also building a program that will be a model off the field. Going into his seventh season on the Hilltop, Kelly continues to set the bar higher for the program.
On the field, Kelly has built the Hoyas into a force in the Patriot League. In 2011 the Blue & Gray took the league by storm, despite a tough schedule featuring just four home games, as Kelly guided GU to an 8-3 record, its best since 1999, with a 3-2 PL record, while playing for the PL Championship in the final game of the season. Georgetown's success earned Kelly the 2011 Patriot League Coach of the Year, while he was also among the finalists for the Eddie Robinson FCS National Coach of the Year Award.
The 2011 Hoyas featured one of the nation's best, most opportunistic defenses. Under Kelly, the Hoyas tied for fifth in the nation with a 1.6 turnover margin per game, while featuring the nation's seventh best run defense (96.1 yard/game). Georgetown also boasted the Patriot League's best scoring defense, allowing a league-low 19.3 points per game.
The defense was led by the PL's ninth consensus All-American, DE Andrew Schaetzke, who earned Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year honors, leading the league and finishing among the nation's leaders in sacks (13) and tackles for loss (22.5). Linebacker Robert McCabe also broke the school's all-time tackles record (134) and was one of three players named to the PL First Team along with CB/KR Jeremy Moore and Schaetzke. GU also had four players named to the second team with CB Jayah Kaisamba, PK Brett Weiss, RB Nick Campanella and OL Mike Roland making the team.
The Hoyas turnaround began in 2010, as Kelly featured one of the league's most improved teams, showing a four game improvement from 2009. Behind a strong defense and much improved offense, the Blue & Gray opened the season with wins over PL opponents, Lafayette and Holy Cross. Two-year captain LB Nick Parrish became the program's all-time tackles leader (349), while earning second team All Patriot League along with Moore. Schaetzke and Kaisamba were both named to the PL's first team.
Throughout the course of his time at Georgetown, Kelly and his staff have emphasized the building of a complete program. Under Kelly, the Hoyas have experienced success in the classroom and community, with 183 student-athletes named to the Patriot League honor roll during his tenure, with defensive end Ataefiok Etukeren and wide receiver Brent Tomlinson earned College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District honors in 2008. In 2010, running back Philip Oladeji earned a spot on the PL All-Academic team, while wide receiver Jeremiah Kayal and running back Wilburn Logan named to the team in 2011. In 2008,
Kelly has also encouraged his teams to take part in several charitable activities through their careers on the Hilltop, with many involved in Hoya Dreams, Grassroot Hoyas and S.O.M.E, while Kelly, Wayne Heimuli and Schaetzke were featured in NBC Washington's Wednesday's Child in 2011.
Members of the team joined together to visit children in the Intensive Care Unit at the Georgetown University Hospital at the start of the 2006 season and participated in walks to benefit brain cancer research as part of the Students of Ailing Mothers and Fathers (AMF), a support group organized by 2006 graduate David Fajgenbaum. Fajgenbaum, who created what is now the National Students of AMF, was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship and was named to the American Football Coaches Association All-Good Works Team.
Members of the team joined 2010 graduate Jon Cassidy as he was among a group of players who ventured to Arlington National Cemetery to lay wreaths on the graves of fallen soldiers as part of Wreaths Across America. Also during this time, members of the football team have participated in the annual Relay for Life on campus, an overnight event that allows participants to fight in the battle against cancer.
In the classroom, Georgetown football players have excelled.
Along the way, there have been several strong individual performances for the team. Former defensive end Alex Buzbee capped off a spectacular career in 2006 by earning honorable mention All-America honors and first team All-Patriot League kudos. He signed a free agent contract with the Washington Redskins during the summer of 2007 and was moved to the team's active roster during the 2007 season. Buzbee is currently playing for the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL. Etukeren also signed with the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent prior to the 2009 season.
In 2008, senior fullback Kyle Van Fleet was named Second Team All-Patriot League and was named the league's Scholar-Athlete of the Year. In addition, Van Fleet was the recipient of Georgetown's Robert A. Duffey Scholar-Athlete Award, presented to the student-athlete who best embodies academic and athletic excellence. Quarterback Matt Bassuener, a seldom-used player during his first two seasons, came off the bench in 2006 and started seven games and threw for 1,359 yards and 15 touchdowns. He started every game in 2007, graduated as the all-time leader in completion percentage and among the top 10 all-time in passing yardage and signed to play with the Louisville Fire of Arena Football 2.
After the Hoyas finished the 2006 regular season, Kelly and his staff had the opportunity to coordinate off-season workouts on the Hilltop for the first time. Members of the squad split into six different teams and the coaching staff coordinated the "Super Star Olympics" at the end of the sessions, an event that included sprint relay races, a dunking contest and a hot-dog eating contest. The "Super Star Olympics" have become an annual event and a highlight of the off-season training sessions.
Kelly arrived on the Hilltop after four years as the special teams coordinator/linebackers coach at the United States Naval Academy, where he helped lead the Midshipmen to tremendous success. Navy advanced to three bowl games and posted a 26-11 record during his last three seasons in Annapolis (2003-05).
"Providing the students at Georgetown with an outstanding opportunity to grow and learn about themselves through competition is the central objective of all of our athletic programs here at Georgetown," Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia said upon Kelly's hiring. "Coach Kelly brings a wealth of experience, ability and energy to achieving that objective in the sport of Football."
Navy won three Commander-in-Chief's titles during his time in Annapolis (2003-05), won the 2004 Emerald Bowl, the 2005 Poinsettia Bowl and participated in the 2003 Houston Bowl. In 2004, Kelly's efforts helped Navy finish 26th in the country in scoring defense (19.83) as the team won a school record-tying 10 games; in 2003, he helped the defense finish 14th in the nation in pass defense, 42nd in pass efficiency defense (116th the year before), 34th in total defense and 34th in scoring defense (108th the year before) as Navy won eight games.
"Kevin played a vital role in helping us get the program turned around at Navy and we certainly appreciate the effort of both he, and his family, and we look forward to watching him be successful at Georgetown," Navy Head Football Coach Paul Johnson. "He's a highly motivated and organized individual and I'm sure he will do a great job for Georgetown football."
Prior to joining Navy, Kelly spent two years (2000-01) at Marshall, one of two coaching stints with the Thundering Herd, where he was the defensive coordinator. In 2000, Marshall won the Mid-American Conference Championship and the Motor City Bowl and they followed that up with a win at the 2001 GMAC Bowl.
Kelly also worked at Marshall from 1996-98, when the team was making the transition from I-AA to I-A. In 1996, the team won the Southern Conference en route to the Division I-AA National Championship. They won back-to-back Mid-American Conference Championships in 1996-97, reaching the Motor City Bowl in both years, and winning it the second time. His most successful season was in 1998 when Marshall's defense ranked 23rd nationally, including 16th in scoring defense, 14th against the pass and 25th against the run.
Kelly spent a year at Syracuse (1999), where he was the defensive backfield coach when the team won the Music City Bowl. It was his second stint with the Orange, as he was a graduate assistant/assistant linebackers coach from 1986-88, when the team won the 1987 Lambert Cup and reached the 1988 Sugar Bowl. Kelly's other Division I-A experience came at Tulane (1992-94), where he was the linebackers coach.
He also spent time at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, where he served as the offensive backfield coach and the linebackers coach. The Big Green won the 1991 Ivy League title. Kelly has also had coaching stints at Northeastern (1989-90), Bowdoin College (1998) and Southern Connecticut State University (1984-85).
A 1982 graduate of Springfield (Mass.) College, Kelly earned a bachelor of science degree in physical education and played football for three years as an undergraduate. He earned a master's degree in physical education from Southern Connecticut State in 1986.
His first coaching job was at Longmeadow High School in Massachusetts, where he was the defensive coordinator and defensive backfield coach in 1981.
After graduating from Springfield in 1982, Kelly went to The Fieldston School, where he was the head coach for two years. He also served as a junior varsity basketball coach and the head track and field coach.
During Kelly's 20-plus years of experience in coaching at the collegiate level, he has recruited numerous players who have gone on to professional careers, including former Marshall quarterback (and Washington, D.C. native) Byron Leftwich, who played in the National Football League with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Kelly and his wife, Kathy, live in Washington, D.C. They have a daughter, Alexandra, who graduated with a degree in business from Notre Dame in 2010 and earned her master's degree in business from Notre Dame in 2011. She married Michael Hoffmann in summer 2011. The Kelly's have two sons, Patrick, currently a student at Georgetown, who serves as a Student Assistant Football Coach, and Ryan, a freshman at Bowling Green State University.