Kelly got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant coach at Furman in 1979-80, with the Paladins posting a 9-1-1 overall mark in 1980 while winning the Southern Conference title. He then served as an assistant coach at Dunwoody (Ga.) High School for three seasons (1981-83) before taking over the head coaching slot for 10 years (1984-93). Kelly amassed a 10-year overall record of 80-36-1 including one state championship (1993) and three regional titles. In 1993, he led Dunwoody to a perfect 15-0 ledger, the state crown and a final national ranking of number three from USA Today, and was named Georgia's coach of the year by the State of Georgia Hall of Fame, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association.
The Union, S.C., native then moved back into the college ranks in 1994, joining the staff at Georgia for two seasons as the running backs coach. While with the Bulldogs, Kelly coached the likes of Robert Edwards, Hines Ward, Terrell Davis and Larry Bowie while helping Georgia to the 1995 Peach Bowl.
Kelly then served four years on the staff at Louisiana State, aiding the Tigers' run to a pair of bowl games (Peach in 1996 & Independence in 1997) while tutoring wide receiver Josh Reed, who just completed his second season (58 rec., 588 yards, 2 TDs) with the Buffalo Bills, and tight end David LeFleur, a first round draft choice of the Dallas Cowboys in 1997.
Kelly, born December 29, 1956, graduated from Furman in 1979 with a bachelor of arts degree in education. He earned four letters as a member of the Paladin football squad, playing wide receiver, running back and cornerback during his tenure. During his senior season, Furman went 8-3 and captured the Southern Conference championship. He went on to earn a master's degree in education from Furman in 1981. Kelly and his wife, Belinda, have one daughter, Brittany, who was born July 6, 1996.
"We're very excited to have David [Kelly] join our staff. He's a great football coach, a great recruiter and more importantly, a fantastic person. That's the first quality I was looking for in hiring every member of our staff. I think our football program is going to benefit greatly from having David here with us."
"Our relationship started out the first time I was at Duke and he was the coach at Dunwoody High School. Then he went to Georgia, then LSU, then we worked together at Georgia Tech. We've traveled a lot of the same roads together in recruiting and we've teamed up quite a bit. I've always had a lot of respect for the type of job he does, and the professional manner in which he does his business. I'm extremely happy to have him join our staff."
"We're going to wait to assign exactly what everyone on the staff is going to be coaching, but the specific position Coach Kelly will be coaching is the wide receivers. He's developed a lot of fantastic players in that regard, sent a lot of people to the NFL. I know he'll help our receiving corps tremendously. He'll be our associate head coach as well. Basically he will help manage the program and promote Duke football."
"I think it's fantastic. I think it speaks highly of Duke. I think it speaks very highly of the commitment that Joe Alleva and the University have made to football. I'm very excited about the staff that we're assembling. I think it's going to be a staff that is going to do a great job coaching, but I think it's also going to be a staff that cares a lot about its student-athletes. That's important to me and to Duke."
On leaving Stanford to join the Duke staff:
"Stanford is one of the premier universities in the world, and I had a tremendous experience there, not only myself, but more importantly, my family. I am very fond of the coaching staff, the players, the administrators and others that I developed relationships with that are hopefully life-long. In the same token, I'm a Southern boy, I have a tremendous relationship with the man who has taken over the leadership of this program and who I'm firmly convinced is going to be highly successful. I would go to the end of the world for [Stanford head coach] Buddy Teevens, especially because of what he's done for me and my family and the opportunities that have been presented. But Buddy Teevens himself would be the first to say -- anytime you get tremendous opportunities that are going to enhance your living in whatever areas are important to you, you have to take a hard look at it."
"We were fortunate enough to come take look at Duke and the campus and facilities, and I was shocked, but very impressed with the commitment that Duke is making not only in football, but in the totality of the University in striving to become the number one university in the world. The thing that I looked at, being from the South -- I love Stanford, but here is the same school on the East Coast, back home, with a valued friend who I have a tremendous amount of confidence in. Those intangibles are the major reasons this decision was made."