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Analyzing the New Staff: David Kelly

David Kelly/Twitter: @coachdavidkelly

Out with the old and in with the new. Coach Taggart’s fully assembled coaching staff only has one mainstay compared to Jimbo Fisher’s staff, which happens to be Odell Haggins. With that being the case, ‘Noles fans have nine new assistant coaches to get to know next season, and we are beginning a new weekly series to offer you the first look at each.

The final offensive coach that we will be introducing is David Kelly. The former Assistant Athletic Director for Football Recruiting Operations for Oregon holds over 30 years of experience. Taggart named Kelly the wide receivers coach in January which was previously held by Lawrence Dawsey. Kelly’s journey to Tallahassee has taken him just about anywhere one could imagine. Kelly has spent his career coaching at the high school, collegiate, and professional level. This will be Kelly’s first on-field coaching position since he was the assistant head coach/running backs coach for the Edmonton Eskimos back in 2013. Wide receiver has been a struggling position for the ‘Noles as of late, with only three drafted over the past decade. David Kelly will look to improve on those numbers during his tenure at Florida State.

Kelly began his coaching career with Furman as a graduate assistant back in 1979. He then transitioned to Dunwoody High School, a suburb of Atlanta, in 1981. Kelly spent 12 years with the Wildcats, with 9 of those as the head coach. He then spent the next 11 years gaining experience coaching multiple power 5 programs such as Georgia, LSU, Georgia Tech, Stanford, and Duke. After 11 years with 5 different programs, Kelly found himself with the UCF Knights for an extended period of 6 years. Kelly achieved great success with the Knights culminating in two double-digit win seasons during his tenure. The first and only time UCF experienced a double-digit win season before that was in 1990. A 2011 NCAA investigation cut Kelly’s time short with the Knights as he was let go for an alleged recruiting violation. The details of this investigation are still hazy, claiming that Kelly had lied to the investigators but it was never stated what they believed he lied about. Mike Bianchi, of the Orlando Sentinel, released an article in 2015 stating that some of the same investigators from Kelly’s case had dealt with an investigation at Miami. Those investigators were punished for performing a fraudulent investigation. The fallout from that investigation was unfortunate, but Kelly now has the chance to pick up where he left off, as an excellent recruiter and coach.

One of the more intriguing aspects of David Kelly hire is his recruiting prowess. Kelly is known as an “ace” recruiter, who will actively pursue any target, regardless of location. National Signing Day 2018 is an excellent example of what we can expect out of Kelly on the trail, with 5 receivers faxing their LOI’s to Tallahassee. His experience working with Taggart on the West Coast helped establish critical relationships that could boost the #WestSideNole movement. The recruiting prowess and coaching pedigree of Kelly should have all Florida State fans confident in the progression of the wide receiver position in Tallahassee.


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