Friday, November 6, 2015

Fairleigh Dickinson Hires KJ Kelley as Head Coach

When we published our first-annual Coaching Grades list last week, two Division 1 schools still had openings at their respective head coaching positions. This week, both have been filled. The Northeast Conference's Fairleigh Dickinson University have named UMass graduate & former University of Mary (North Dakota) head coach KJ Kelley as the program's new leader.

Image via FDU Athletics
Kelley spent the last two seasons as the head coach at Mary, a Division II school in Bismarck, North Dakota. Under her watch, the Marauders posted a 57-53 record with a conference tournament appearance in 2014.

Directly prior to her coming to Bismarck, Kelley spent four years as an assistant coach at Toledo as well as a single season at the University of Vermont prior to the school's elimination of their softball program.

Coming from the Elaine Sortino coaching tree, Kelley spent a year coaching under Sortino directly following her playing career as a member of the Minutewomen. As a player, Kelley was an Easton all-American; a three-time NFCA all-region selection; and a four-time all-conference performer.

Following her collegiate career, she spent three seasons playing the National Pro Fastpitch league as a member of the New England Riptide. As an NPF rookie in 2006, she was the Riptide's starting catcher and was part of the championship-winning squad that same year.

Kelley takes the reins of the FDU program from Candi Letts, who resigned to accept the similar position at Idaho State in August. She takes over a program in the Knights that posted a 16-20 record in 2015 and went 10-6 in conference play.

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