| Wins against Kentucky - 0 | Losses against Kentucky - 3 |
Alma Mater: Georgia Tech  (*)
Hometown: Flemingsburg, KY
Date Born: October 3, 1933
Date Died: March 5, 2009
Overall Record: 218-144 [13 Seasons]
[Future and Former UK Assistant Coach]
|12/27/1988||Kentucky vs. Austin Peay||W||85 - 77||(at Louisville, KY)|
|11/29/1986||Austin Peay at Kentucky||W||71 - 69||-|
|3/15/1973||Kentucky vs. Austin Peay||W||106 - 100 OT||NCAA Mideast Regional Semifinals (at Nashville, TN)|
Obituary - Austin Peay State University (March 5, 2009)
Former APSU basketball coach Lake Kelly dies
Former Austin Peay State University basketball coach Lake Kelly died early Thursday morning at the age of 75.
Kelly, who led the Governors to three NCAA appearances in two coaching stints, experienced complications following kidney stones surgery Monday at a Flemingsburg hospital, according to a news release from Austin Peay.
Kelly recently retired from high school administration work in Kentucky. He had returned to high school coaching after leaving Austin Peay as head basketball coach in 1990. He ended his coaching career at Fleming County in his hometown of Flemingsburg. He led the Panthers to the Sweet 16 in 1998 and 1999.
The former coach was in Clarksville last month to celebrate the 1972-73 and 1973-74 Governors teams and jersey retirement for former Governors' star James "Fly" Williams.
Kelly was an assistant on the Austin Peay staff in 1970 and was elevated to head coach for the 1971-72 season, replacing George Fisher. After a 10-14 first season, the Govs produced a 22-7 record in 1972-73 and won the Ohio Valley Conference for the first time. After beating Jacksonville in the first round of the NCAA tournament, the Govs fell to Kentucky 106-100 in overtime.
In 1983, Kelly left Austin Peay to become Joe B. Hall's assistant at Kentucky, but returned to coach the Governors again for the 1985-86 season. His 1987 team won the OVC tournament on a buzzer-beater and then shocked Illinois in the first round of the NCAA tournament 68-67.
Rick Pitino's Providence team defeated the Govs 90-87 in overtime in the second round before the Friars advanced to the Final Four.
Kelly was a Georgia Tech graduate and began his coaching career in 1959 at Amelia (Ohio) High School. He joined Morehead State's coaching staff in 1960. After a stint in the Army, he returned to Morehead in 1962-63 and then moved on to Florida State and Loyola for single seasons as an assistant coach.
In 1965 he went back to Morehead where he stayed until 1968. Kelly coached high school in Lexington in 1969 before coming to Austin Peay the following season.
Kelly is survived by his wife, Marti, sons Lake Jr. and Brian, and daughter, Jane.
Longtime coach Lake Kelly dies at 75 - by Mike Fields, Lexington Herald-Leader
Lake Kelly, whose career as a college and high school basketball coach spanned more than 50 years, died Thursday in his hometown of Flemingsburg.
He was 75.
Mr. Kelly went to Fleming County Hospital on Monday to have a kidney stone removed in an out-patient procedure. Complications ensued, however, and he died at the hospital early Thursday morning from a suspected heart attack.
"Coach was one of the hardest working men I've ever known," said Robbie Graham, a life-long family friend and a former assistant coach under Kelly. "He wanted to be the the best husband, the best father, the best coach, the best (school) administrator."
Mr. Kelly twice served as head coach at Austin Peay (1971-77 and 1985-90), and led the Governors to three NCAA Tournament appearances, including a 106-100 overtime loss to Kentucky in 1973.
Between stints at Austin Peay, Mr. Kelly was head coach at Oral Roberts University and Clark County High School, and an assistant at UK under Joe B. Hall for two years.
"I thought of Lake as indestructible," Hall said. "He was always even-tempered and optimistic, always 'up' mentally, a very collected, level-headed. common-sense guy.
"That's what I liked about him. He was the greatest support I had. It was a joy to have him on my staff."
Mississippi State Coach Rick Stansbury, who got his start in college coaching as an assistant to Kelly at Austin Peay, saw Kelly last month when the Bulldogs played UK in Rupp Arena.
"In the press conference (after the game), I walked off the podium and went and gave him a hug because I absolutely wouldn't be where I am without Lake Kelly," Stansbury said. "He was one of my dearest friends in life."
Mr. Kelly's coaching resume also included stops as a college assistant at Loyola, Morehead State, Florida State, and New Orleans, and as a high school head coach at Lafayette, Columbia (Tn) Central and Fleming County.
Mr. Kelly didn't intend to coach again when he moved back to his hometown in the early 1990s, but when the Fleming County job opened, he couldn't resist.
"The most rewarding thing in coaching," he said at the time, "is helping kids have some success."
He guided the Panthers to the Sweet Sixteen in 1998 and '99.
Hall said Kelly's return to the high school game "showed where his heart was."
Green County High School Coach Troy Lee Thomas, who was an assistant to Kelly at Fleming County, said after Kelly retired as an elementary school administrator a couple months, he was still focused on basketball.
"Every time I'd go to Flemingsburg to see him, he'd have a book open, and it was always a book about basketball," Thomas said. "He could never get enough of it. He loved the game."
Thomas said Kelly had planned to spend part of his retirement writing a book on defense.
Graham, who was also on Kelly's staff at Fleming County, said he was "amazed" at Kelly's unquenchable thirst for basketball knowledge.
"We'd go to coaching clinics all over the country, and he'd always sit in the front row and take notes like he was a first-year coach," Graham said.
"We went to a clinic at Cincinnati one year, and Coach (Bob) Huggins saw him, paused for a second and said, 'I'll be daggone. It's Lake Kelly. He should be up here teaching and I should be sitting there listening to him.'"
Mr. Kelly's survivors include his wife, Marti, sons Lake Jr. and Brian, and daughter Jane.
Boone Nickell Funeral Home is handling arrangements. Visitation will be at Fleming County High School on Saturday, starting at 4 p.m., and on Sunday from 1 to 2, followed by the funeral.
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