Fred Kelly

Major Fred Kelly- 1938  (1900-1978)
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988

Fred Gerard Kelly, Acadia’s Director of Physical Education and Athletics from 1940 until his retirement in 1967, was a beloved teacher, coach and friend to a countless number of students.

A native of Charlottetown, he graduated from St.Dunstan’s College in 1924 and after attending McGill University in Montreal for two years, came to Acadia in 1927 as a member of the physical education staff and, specifically, as the hockey coach.

Following his arrival at Acadia, he studied physical education at Springfield College. In 1938, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Acadia. In 1939, he was appointed Officer Commanding of Acadia COTC with the rank of captain. Promoted to a major in ’41, he held the post until his resignation in 1947.

During his stay of forty years at Acadia, the “major” or “Kel” as he was so fondly called, coached almost every intercollegiate sport. He inspired teams to approximately 50 Maritime or provincial intercollegiate championships in track and field, English rugby, swimming, hockey and basketball. Included are 31 out of a possible 33 Maritime Intercollegiate titles in track and field.

It was generally regarded by the knowledgeable sports writers and fans of the day that Fred Kelly was the best college coach in the Maritimes. He built his reputation not on words but deeds. His quiet but confident manner inspired many to exceed their expectations.

Fittingly, in 1967, Acadia conferred an honorary degree on this kind and gentlemanly human being.

It is a distinct honour to induct posthumously to Acadia’s Sports Hall of Fame, Fred Kelly.