Feb. 16, 2006
Charles Kelly, formerly the defensive coordinator at Nicholls State University, has been named Georgia Tech’s special teams coordinator, head coach Chan Gailey announced Thursday.
Kelly spent the last four seasons at Nicholls State, an NCAA Division I-AA program that captured the Southland Conference title in 2005.
“Charles Kelly has excelled in all phases of coaching, and he has been in charge of several special teams units during his career,” said Gailey. “He will be a valuable addition to our staff, both on the field and in recruiting.”
Under Kelly, who served as defensive backs coach during his first two seasons at Nicholls, the Colonels finished as the top-ranked defense in the Southland Conference in 2005 and 17th in NCAA Division I-AA. Nicholls led the Southland in total defense and rushing defense while ranking second in scoring defense.
Kelly was instrumental in developing two-time All-America cornerback Chris Thompson, who was selected in the 2004 NFL draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars and now plays for the Chicago Bears.
Kelly went to Nicholls State in 2002 from Eufaula (Ala.) High School, where he served as defensive coordinator and linebackers’ coach for two seasons. Prior to his move to the high school ranks, the Ozark, Ala., native spent one season (1999) as defensive coordinator at Henderson State and two seasons as defensive coordinator at Jacksonville State. His term as defensive coordinator at Jacksonville State culminated a five-year stay on the JSU staff (1994-98), and he also coordinated the offense and coached the defensive backs, running backs, quarterbacks and receivers over the course of his stay.
Before going to Jacksonville State, Kelly served one year as a graduate assistant at Auburn and was part of the Tigers’ 11-0 season in 1993. He spent three seasons as an assistant football coach and baseball coach at Central High School in Phenix City, Ala. (1990-92).
Kelly has coached five players that have made it to the National Football League, including Thompson, Delvin Hugley, Calvin Jackson, Chris Schelling and Dell McGee.
A 1990 graduate of Auburn with a degree in Secondary Math Education, Kelly played defensive back under former Tiger coach Pat Dye. His senior class put together a four-year record of 39-7-2 while participating in four bowl games. In 2002, Kelly earned a master’s degree in Education from Troy State.
The 38-year old Kelly and his wife, Kristy, have two daughters, Caroline (7) and Kathleen Claire (3).