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Anti-punt coach Kevin Kelley out after one season at Presbyterian College

Kevin Kelley Presbyterian sidelines (copy)

Presbyterian head coach Kevin Kelley, admired by analytics fans and the likes of six-time Super Bowl winner Bill Belichick, is out after going 2-9 in his first season with the Blue Hose. Presbyterian College athletics photo  

After an attention-grabbing debut — no less than NFL legend Bill Belichick weighed in on his hiring — Kevin Kelley is out after one season as football coach at Presbyterian College.

Famed for his analytics-driven methods of seldom punting and often using an onsides kick and going for 2-point conversions, Kelley went 2-9 in his lone season with the Blue Hose, including an 0-8 record in the non-scholarship FCS Pioneer League. Often given a short field to work with, opposing teams averaged 53.6 points per game against PC.

"I have decided to leave Presbyterian College to pursue other football interests," Kelley said in a statement released Saturday. "I am proud that we were No. 1 in the country in passing and No. 3 in the country in total offense at a school without scholarships and the first practice being only four weeks before the first game."

The Blue Hose averaged 36.73 points and 414.64 passing yards per game, but their only wins were against lower division squads St. Andrews and Fort Lauderdale. PC ended up punting 13 times in 11 games, with 46 turnovers on 34 interceptions and 12 fumbles lost. 

Presbyterian went for it on fourth down 84 times, converting 29 times for a 34.5 percent rate. 

Kelley came to fame as the coach at Pulaski Academy in Arkansas, where his team won nine state championships. He struck up a friendship with Belichick, the New England Patriots coach who was interested in his coaching philosophies. Belichick spoke via video call when Kelley was hired at PC last May.

"Although disappointed that he is leaving PC, we respect his decision to step down and wish him nothing but the best moving forward," Blue Hose athletic director Rob Acunto said.

Kelley had replaced Tommy Spangler, who was fired with no explanation last April after compiling a 54-52 record in 10 seasons over two different stints at the Clinton school.

"Change can be difficult, but it can also present important opportunities for growth and continued improvement," said school president Matthew vandenBerg said. "Our PC community is resolutely and passionately committed to the success of our student athletes and our football program. We will invest the time, energy and resources required to continue to build on our championship culture. We believe our best days as a football program and a college are ahead of us."

Follow on Twitter @Jeff_fromthePC

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