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Mr. Irrelevant: Jeff Kelly

Source: Hattisburg

Former Eagle Kelly working as prep coach
By Mike Perez

Jeff Kelly spent four seasons as a quarterback at the University of Southern Mississippi (1998-2001). After a short stint with the NFL's Seattle Seahawks, Kelly took a position as head football coach at Satsuma High School in Satsuma, Ala.

Last Saturday, Kelly brought a group of his players to compete in the Steve McNair Football Camp at Southern Miss. The Hattiesburg American had a chance to catch up with Kelly for this week's Question & Answer feature.

QUESTION: What have you been doing since you graduated?

ANSWER: After I graduated Southern Miss I was drafted and sent a year and a half in Seattle playing with the SeaHawks. I was released there in 2003. Since then I have been back in Satsuma as head coach of Satsuma high school.

Q: What is it like going from playing in the NFL to coaching high school?

A: There are a lot of adjustments and you learn a little every day. You're dealing with 15, 16 and 17-year-old kids. You try to take some of the things that you learn while you are playing and try to apply it to when you teach. The main thing is just teaching.

Q: What did you learn at USM that has helped you in your new job?

A: When I was here at USM I was honored to have such great coaches. Start with coach Bower, his leadership, and all the things, how he handled the team when I played. You try to pick up on those things and try to do the same kinds of things.

Q: Why did you start coaching?

A: I just love football, I love seeing kids grow, mature, get better and those things are real rewarding to me in the coaching profession.

Q: What is it about football that you love so much?

A: One of the best things about football is the locker room. As a player some of your best friends are those guys that you go to battle with, play with and go to practice with every day and the camaraderie that comes along with that. The camaraderie is probably the best thing about football.

Q: What team are you pulling for in the NFL this year and why?

A: I am pulling for Seattle this year because I have a lot of people up there that I know and talk with.

Q: Do you like to show your players that you can throw the ball?

A: Every now and then I have to. It is good to get out there and work with the kids. They like to see you being interactive and working with them

Q: If you could coach anywhere you wanted to for whomever you wanted to where and who would it be?

A: There will always be a part of my heart here in Hattiesburg and here at Southern Miss. This school has just meant so much to me and the people here. I love coming back. And the coaches there are still a lot of them here that coached when I was here. I would just love to have that opportunity. Hattiesburg will always be a special place and this school.

Q: Other than foot ball what other sports do you play and/or enjoy watching?

A: Golf, fishing and hunting

Q: Do you have any children?

A: I have one on the way.