Any time a coach takes over as head coach for their alma mater, it brings an extra dose of energy to the team, fans, and community. For 4A Aurora Central's Chris Kelly, a 2008 graduate, he has taken that momentum into one of the best starts in program history.
The Trojans are off to a 5-1 start and are coming off a 48-0 league win over Grand Junction, the first league win for Aurora Central since 2015. Not only is Aurora Central winning, they are doing so in dominating fashion, outscoring opponents 242-27, including four shutout wins. The defense is also scoring more points off turnovers than they have allowed.
Coach Kelly's commitment and devotion to Aurora Central, their student-athletes, and the Aurora Central community, played a significant role in the school's decision to select him to lead the football program. It is a decision that is paying immediate dividends. Kelly is this week's Broncos High School Coach of the Week.
The Broncos Coach of the Week is selected in partnership with CHSAA.
Chris Kelly bio
Years as Aurora Central head coach (record): First Year (5-1)
Overall head coaching record: 5-1
Coaching resume: Head Varsity Football and Assistant Varsity Basketball
Quotes from Chris Kelly
Why do you coach?
Kelly: I coach to serve the youth. I love helping young adults reach their goals in life using sports as the road to get them there. I don't believe I'm just a football coach but a life coach for some students. My commitment is to the kids and not my own individual goals.
Why do you coach the way that you coach?
Kelly: I coach the way I do to hold my players accountable. I played and worked for several coaches and learned a lot from each and every one of them which has helped mold me into the coach that I am today. I coach to prepare my players for the next chapter in life, whether that next chapter includes football or not. I believe that my coaching style will help to prepare them for life after high school football.
What do you think it's like to be coached by you?
Kelly: I think it's a fun experience. I try to make practice, workouts, and film a fun atmosphere while keeping in mind that we have a goal at the end of the week. It's a fine line but the kids know when it's time for business and when we can relax a little bit. I coach them hard during the week and love them up during the game.
What has been your favorite memory from being the HC at Aurora Central thus far?
Kelly: Thus far my favorite memory was being announced as the head coach. The amount of love and support I received from the Aurora Central community was amazing. The joy on the players' faces is something that I will never forget.
What has it been like for your team to be 5-1 at this point in the season?
Kelly: It's been an enjoyable ride so far. The team understands that this is the first step in the right direction but they're not satisfied and want to keep building on the success that we had thus far in the season.
Describe what it has taken for you and your staff to get this team from where it was when you took over the head coaching job to where it is today?
Kelly: It showed the kids that we believe in them. The staff and I had to earn the trust of the players before teaching them football. Now the players are bought in and they believe in themselves, teammates and coaches.
What has it been like coaching and having success with your alma mater?
Kelly: It's been the best experience. The support I get from the administration, community, and alumni is unbelievable. This is home and I take pride in being an Aurora Central Trojan. I couldn't wish for a better start to my career. I want to do right by the program, school and community.
Story Written By: Dan Whitaker/CHSAANow.com
Photo Credit: Matthew Monczka