Athletics News

George Kelly Passes Away At Age 75
George Kelly passed away Monday at the age of 75.
 
George Kelly passed away Monday at the age of 75.

March 3, 2003

  • Funeral Arrangements

    NOTRE DAME, Ind. - George Kelly, special assistant to the athletic director and a 34-year member of the Notre Dame athletic staff, died at his home tonight following a short illness. He was 75.

    Probably best known as a 17-year assistant football coach from 1969-85 for Irish head coaches Ara Parseghian, Dan Devine and Gerry Faust, Kelly most recently worked as a liaison with athletic director Kevin White's office in terms of football and basketball operations, working particularly in the football scheduling area.

    He shifted into the administrative wing beginning in '86 after coaching a long list of All-America inside linebackers since first joining the Irish football staff in 1969. A key figure in molding a long series of top-notch defensive units, he developed 13 linebackers selected to perform at the professional level.

    George Kelly (right) with longtime friend and fellow Notre Dame legend Rev. Jim Riehle, C.S.C.


    "George understood the fiber of Notre Dame as well as anyone I've met since I've come to South Bend," said White.

    "He spanned the decades as far as the University was concerned, and there was hardly anyone connected with Notre Dame, especially from the football standpoint, that George didn't touch. There's no way to measure his love for Notre Dame, much less all the contributions he has made to the University over the years."

    After graduating from Notre Dame in 1953, Kelly remained in South Bend and joined the football staff at St. Joseph's High School. The following year he assumed the head football coaching reins at the school and spent three years in that capacity.

    Kelly jumped to the collegiate ranks following the 1956 season, beginning as an assistant coach at Marquette. He moved to Nebraska where he spent eight seasons (1961-1968) as an assistant under Husker head coaches Bill Jennings and Bob Devaney. With Kelly a key member of the Nebraska brain trust, the Huskers led the nation in total defense in 1963 and 1967 and had a combined record of 59-16. He joined the Parseghian staff following the '68 season. Kelly coached under three head coaches who are members of the College Football Hall of Fame -Devaney, Parseghian and Devine.

    Among the standout Irish linebackers he coached were all-stars Bob Olson ('69 captain), Greg Collins ('74 captain), Bob Golic ('78 captain) and Bob Crable ('80-'81 captain). The Irish defense ranked among the top 10 nationally six times during his tenure, including 1974 when it ranked first (195.2 yards per game).

    George Kelly was one of the most beloved and respected assistant coaches in Notre Dame football history, serving on the staffs of Ara Parseghian, Dan Devine and Gerry Faust (1969-85).


    Kelly has received numerous awards, including the 1989 Harvey Foster Award, given by the Notre Dame Alumni Association; in 1990, a University of Notre Dame Special Presidential Award; in 1991, the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Award of the Year; in 1993, the Moose Krause Award from the Notre Dame Club of Chicago and the Edward Krause Distinguished Citizen Award, given by the Notre Dame Quarterback Club; and in 1997 the Moose Krause Award by the Notre Dame National Monogram Club as its member of the year.

    Born July 6, 1927 in Rockford, Ill., Kelly and his wife, the former Gloria Haddad, have four children: Barbara Gorbitz, Patti, Lori (Mrs. Ronald Janowczyk) and Kevin (who is married to the former Carrie Reda), who graduated from the University in '85 after earning four monograms as the Irish special-teams center.

    Funeral arrangements are pending, with details available through the Notre Dame Sports Information Office (574-631-7516) or on www.und.com.

  • Shop Now

    Medifast

    Auctions

    Official ND Online Auctions // Bid Now »

    Gear Store

    Get your Official ND Gear // Shop Now »

    Event Calendar

    Delta

    February 6
    W, 80-76
    North Carolina
    Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)
    RECAP

    WatchND
    Watch ESPN
    HALFTIME PERFORMANCE: Red Panda (yes, that Red Panda) PROMOTION: GOLD OUT GIVEAWAY: Gold Poms (All), Gold T-shirts (Students)
    February 6
    W, 18-5
    Jacksonville
    Jacksonville, Fla. (D.B. Milne Field)
    RECAP

    Live Stats
    ESPN3
    February 6
    W, 3-1
    Vermont
    Burlington, Vt. (Gutterson Fieldhouse)
    RECAP

    WatchND
    Live Streaming
    February 6
    M 4-1
    Duke Duals
    Durham, N.C.
    RECAP

    Live Results
    February 6
    NTS
    Meyo Invitational
    Notre Dame, Ind.
    RECAP
    February 7
    2:00 PM
    Louisville
    Louisville, Ky. (KFC Yum! Center)

    ESPN2/ESPN3/WatchESPN
    Pulse FM (96.9/92.1)/WatchND
    WatchND
    WatchESPN
    Live Stats
    February 7
    12:00 PM
    Indiana
    Notre Dame, Ind. (Eck Tennis Pavilion)

    WatchND Tennis
    Live Stats
    February 7
    5:30 PM
    Ball State
    Notre Dame, Ind. (Eck Tennis Pavilion)

    WatchND Tennis
    Live Stats
    February 7
    All Day
    Duke Duals
    Durham, N.C.
    February 8
    9:00 PM
    Clemson
    Bon Secours Wellness Arena

    ESPNU
    WatchND
    Watch ESPN
    February 8
    All Day
    Yestingsmeier Match Play
    Dade City, Fla. (Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club)

    Live Scoring
    February 9
    All Day
    Yestingsmeier Match Play
    Dade City, Fla. (Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club)

    Live Scoring
    February 12
    2:00 PM
    Utah
    Tempe, Ariz. (TSC Field 4)
    February 12
    7:00 PM
    Kentucky
    Tempe, Ariz. (TSC Field 4)
    February 12
    3:30 PM
    Pittsburgh
    Notre Dame, Ind. (Eck Tennis Pavilion)

    WatchND Tennis
    Live Stats
    February 12
    6:40 PM
    Maine
    Notre Dame, Ind. (Compton Family Ice Arena)

    NBC Sports Network
    WatchND
    February 12
    All Day
    Spire D-I Invitational
    Geneva, Ohio
    February 12
    All Day
    Junior Olympics
    Cleveland, OH (Convention Center)
    February 12
    All Day
    Iowa State Classic
    Ames, Iowa
    February 13
    4:00 PM
    Louisville
    Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

    ESPN2
    WatchND
    HALFTIME PERFORMANCE: Alexandria Aces
    February 13
    1:30 PM
    BYU
    Tempe, Ariz. (TSC Field 4)
    February 13
    4:00 PM
    California
    Tempe, Ariz. (TSC Field 4)
    February 13
    12:00 PM
    Stanford
    Notre Dame, Ind. (Arlotta Stadium)

    WatchND
    February 13
    4:00 PM
    Michigan
    Notre Dame, Ind. (Eck Tennis Pavilion)

    WatchND Tennis
    Live Stats
    February 13
    7:10 PM
    Maine
    Notre Dame, Ind. (Compton Family Ice Arena)

    NBC Sports Network
    WatchND
    February 13
    All Day
    Iowa State Classic
    Ames, Iowa
    February 13
    All Day
    Junior Olympics
    Cleveland, OH (Convention Center)
    February 13
    All Day
    Spire D-I Invitational
    Geneva, Ohio
    February 14
    1:00 PM
    Miami
    Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

    ACC-Regional Sports Networks package
    Pulse FM (96.9/92.1)/WatchND
    WatchND
    Pink Zone/Play4Kay Game
    February 14
    11:00 AM
    Georgia State
    Tempe, Ariz. (Farrington Stadium)
    February 14
    1:00 PM
    Michigan
    Ann Arbor, Mich. (Varsity Tennis Center)
    February 14
    All Day
    Junior Olympics
    Cleveland, OH (Convention Center)
    February 15
    All Day
    Junior Olympics
    Cleveland, OH (Convention Center)

    Blog

    St. Joseph Health System Medifast Delta Canon Visit South Bend Mishawaka