Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/2/09
Whittier College (Calif.) Director of Athletics Robert Coleman announced the hiring of 1999 Downingtown graduate Brian Kelly as the new head coach of the Poets men’s lacrosse team today. Kelly served as the interim head coach for the 2009 season.
“Brian and I have had some nice conversations about this hiring and we both feel that this will be a long term relationship,” said Coleman.
Kelly – who played professionally in both the National Lacrosse League (NLL) and Major League Lacrosse (MLL) – first joined the Whittier staff in 2005 as an assistant and was named the interim head coach for this past season after former head coach Nate Watkins resigned to pursue his professional career.
Kelly played for the Poets from 2000-2003 and was a two-time second-team All-American in both the ’02 and ’03 seasons as a long-stick midfielder. He participated in the North/South All-Star game his senior campaign after he helped WC to the ’03 National Semifinals. Kelly finished with over 300 ground balls.
“Brian wants our current players to experience the success the teams had while he played,” said Coleman. “He wants to bring that type excitement back to our (Los Angeles) campus.”
This past season he guided Whittier to a 7-7 record (6-6 vs. NCAA Teams) which includes a 10-9 win over South Region foe Goucher College during the team’s Spring Break Trip.
“I’m very honored for the opportunity to lead the program as we move forward,” said Kelly. “I feel that this program should be a national contender every year, and I’m determined to establish a culture that will get us back to the forefront of Division III lacrosse.”
Kelly graduated from Whittier in ’03 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education. He earned his Master’s in Exercise Science from California University of Pennsylvania and is currently employed as an elementary P.E. teacher at Chadwick School in Palos Verdes, Calif.
Kelly played two seasons in the MLL for the Los Angeles Riptide and the San Francisco Dragons as well as two seasons with the Anaheim Storm of the NLL.