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Kelly Receives National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award

Senior Academic All-Ohio Athletic Conference defensive back Kyle Kelly being recognized for his award by Jim Tressel
Senior Academic All-Ohio Athletic Conference defensive back Kyle Kelly being recognized for his award by Jim Tressel

BEREA, Ohio – Baldwin Wallace University senior two-time College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-American second-team selection and Academic All-Ohio Athletic Conference defensive back Kyle Kelly (Wadsworth/St. Vincent-St. Mary) was honored as a National Football Foundation (NFF) Scholar-Athlete Award winner at the annual 2020 NFF Mike Cleary/Northeastern Ohio Chapter Banquet on Tuesday, March 3.

"It is always an honor to be receive an academic award as a collegiate athlete because it is never an easy balance" Kelly said. "Trying to find the time to study and do homework between meetings, workouts, and practices was difficult at times. However, I knew playing football was a privilege in college and my main focus was my schooling. Any time I am recognized for an academic award, it reminds me that I was able to stay true to keeping studies first while also enjoying the college football experience."

The Scholar-Athlete Award was established by the National Football Foundation to recognize the athletic, academic, and leadership abilities of student-athletes.

Kelly, a pre-physical therapy major carrying a 4.0 GPA, played in 30 career games and recorded 53 tackles, six pass break ups and 1.5 tackles for loss. He was a three-year varsity letterwinner and 2019 CoSIDA Academic All-District 7 first-team selection. 

He plans to continue his education through BW's Master of Medical Science physician assistant program starting this May. Since the program's first graduating class in 2015, every student that has graduated from the program has achieved a 100 percent first-time pass rate on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam.

"After PA school, I would like to get into orthopedics as it will give me a chance to work with injured athletes" Kelly stated. "It will keep me around sports and allow me the opportunity to help athletes get back to the games they love."

During his four-year career, BW accumulated a record of 24-16, including a 21-9 tally under head coach Jim Hilvert. Kelly was a three-time BW Lee Tressel Academic Award recipient and earned the BW Academic Excellence Award for Football his sophomore year.

"Kelly exemplifies what it means to be a BW Yellow Jacket" said Hilvert. "He strives for greatness on and off the field. He is a great young man that is going to make a difference in the world and I'm glad I got the opportunity to coach him the last 3 years."

When not playing football, Kelly is a Dean's List student, Jacket Scholar, and member of the Alpha Lambda Delta and Chi Sigma Alpha honor societies.