With charges dropped, Kelly wants to coach again

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:37 PM ET

Mike Kelly once said I’ll still be writing about him when he’s dead.

I don’t know about that, but I’m certainly not averse to checking in with the Professor now and again, particularly if he’s making some news.

Thursday, the former Blue Bomber boss did just that, appearing on TSN’s Off The Record to tell us all that he was actually the victim, and not the perpetrator, in his assault case, that the charge against him has been dropped and — this is my favourite part — that he wasn’t that bad a football coach.

That last tidbit came with a promise.

“I want to be a head coach again, and that will happen,” the Professor told TSN.

Before we get to that, let’s deal with Kelly’s court case.

After a few weeks of checking with prosecutors in Pennsylvania, we finally got confirmation Thursday that Kelly’s case has, indeed, been resolved.

“The charges were withdrawn upon a showing that the defendant completed a course of counseling,” wrote prosecutor Wallis Brooks in an e-mail to the Sun.

A judge in January had ordered Kelly to complete anger management counseling and stay away from his former girlfriend and her family, saying if he complied his charge could be dropped in 90 days.

That’s obviously happened, so the Professor is free and clear of the law, with no criminal record.

As for the sordid details of what happened that morning at his home north of Philadelphia, Kelly reiterated on TSN that he was the one being attacked, so he called 9-1-1. All the while, he says his ex promised to ruin him.

Thursday on Canada’s national sports network, the Professor attempted to begin rebuilding his image.

“I want my life back,” he said. “I want people to know that I’m not this guy that I was painted to be. I didn’t do anything and that’s been proven.”

There’s no need to debate that. If the charge has been dropped, that’s good enough for me.

As for Kelly returning to the CFL some day, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

The Professor may not be the worst coach we’ve ever seen, but he was close.

Bomber fans don’t need to be reminded how his passing game was one of the more pathetic the league has seen in decades, so archaic it reminded you of the days before the forward pass.

Then there was the way he handled players, and no, don’t worry, we’re not going to regurgitate it all again. More than one player has said he was dishonest and disrespectful, a poisonous combination in any locker room.

Perhaps the Professor’s greatest shortcoming, though, was his inability to see himself as others saw him.

Even Thursday, he talked like the only reason he was run out of Winnipeg was because an ex-girlfriend wanted to ruin him. Never mind that the moment president Lyle Bauer resigned, the Bomber board was planning to fire him, even before news of the domestic dispute broke.

“I know we did a good job,” Kelly said. “I know we had a good locker room. It was a situation where the vocal minority got their way.”

Asked by TSN host Michael Landsberg what was wrong with the firing of a coach whose team missed the playoffs with a bad offence, Kelly fired back.

“I think it’s all wrong,” he said. “We were building something for the future. We weren’t built to win the Grey Cup last year. The way our team stayed together and played tough down the stretch, the last game was meaningful.

“If we win that last game, we secure second place and we’re in the playoffs and probably nobody says anything about whether I can coach or not.”

Say what you want about the Professor, but he hasn’t lost his belief in himself. Never did.

Does that make him delusional?

Next time you see him around town, still wearing his Bomber gear, you can ask him that.


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