Coaching has had as much of a presence in Brandon Kelley’s education career as being an administrator.
Next year, Colo-NESCO’s high school principal will become the new head boys’ basketball coach for the district. Since he doesn’t have to handle the “athletic director” duties (those are being re-assigned), Kelley said he thinks coaching basketball while continuing as principal will work out fine. “I think the biggest factor in being able to do (both) things correctly is to be organized,” he said.
When Coach Wynja announced his resignation from the coaching post this year, Kelley put in his application for the job.
“I knew that I had been wanting to get back into coaching, so I applied and went through the interview process,” he said.
When it was announced that he had been chosen, he was stoked. “I am really excited to get back to having an impact on kids while coaching again,” he said. “We have really great kids at Colo-NESCO, who are willing to work hard and put in the time that it takes to be a true team.”
Neither basketball nor coaching are new to Kelley. As a student at Ballard High School, he played the sport for Hall of Fame Coach Larry Shaeffer. His own coaching career started as an assistant coach at Interstate 35 in 1998, followed by a head basketball coaching position at Northeast Hamilton in 1999. He ended up serving as head coach there for 13 years. When he first came to Colo-NESCO in 2012, Kelley was head baseball coach for the district before Brandon Frohwein took over the program. In addition to those coaching assignments, Kelley has also spent time as a head baseball coach and an assistant junior high football coach at Northeast Hamilton and as head golf coach at Interstate 35.
Kelley is married and he and wife, Jody, have two children: Zac is 26 and works in Duluth, Minn.; Haley is 15 and is a freshman at Colo-NESCO. When asked how his family feels about him taking on more responsibility next year with the addition of coaching, he said his wife has been very supportive of the decision and she is excited for the future. “She knew that it would happen at some point and is excited that it happened at Colo-NESCO,” he said.
About the team he’ll take over, Kelley knows they will need to rebuild, but is very optimistic. “We lost some very talented seniors from this year’s team, so we will be in a rebuilding mode. It may take some time for our younger guys to understand what it takes to play at a higher level, but I am confident that they will be able to adjust as the season advances.”