In a ceremony held before an overflow crowd, Grand Valley State University unveiled The Kelly Family Sports Center, renaming the 138,000 square foot sports building in honor of its former head football coach.
Brian Kelly was the head football coach at Grand Valley for 13 seasons, leading the Lakers to a 118-35-2 record, and two D-II National Championships. The Kelly Family Sports Center houses a regulation football field, a six-lane track, batting cages, locker rooms and meeting space, serving as a hub for Grand Valley athletics while being used for academic curriculum as well.
“This is a tremendous honor to have our family name adorn such an impressive building that serves multiple departments on the campus,” said Kelly. “Grand Valley State will always have a special place in the hearts of Paqui and I because of our history with the school and the way the community embraced our family. Many of our fondest memories stem from our time at Grand Valley and it is truly an honor for all of us to be associated with the university in this way.”
Kelly was already inducted into the Grand Valley State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009, but was bestowed with this honor because of the great contributions he made to both on and off the field.
“His teams and victories helped establish the future of athletics for Grand Valley,” University President Thomas J. Haas said. “So it is only fitting that this building, which serves all our students should be named for the Kelly family.”
Both Brian and Paqui Kelly were employed at Grand Valley State, where they met when Brian was an assistant coach and Paqui worked in the Financial Aid office as a counselor. All three of the Kelly’s children were born while the Kelly’s were at Grand Valley.
UND.com has some great video of BK’s speech and it’s a truly heartfelt event.