1987 BC grad has been with Eagles since 1991
How many times have we heard the expression "he died doing what he loved"?
For Dick Kelley, who loved working for Boston College - especially with its basketball team - this was not possible. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) robbed him of that ability some time ago. But what happened the evening of February 13 in a room on the 22nd floor of Massachusetts General Hospital had to come very close. The two people Dick loved most - his parents, Ann and Ed - sat by his hospital bed and relayed play-by-play of the Boston College-Georgia Tech basketball game. Shortly thereafter, Dick closed his eyes one final time and passed peacefully. Boston College basketball; Ann; Ed; heaven.
Though many people have loved Boston College equally, none loved the Jesuit institution more than Dick Kelley. After graduating from BC and working for two years in the BU Sports Information office, Dick returned to 321 Conte Forum and never left. In his 22 years as the primary contact for BC men's basketball, he touched the lives of hundreds of coaches, co-workers, student-athletes, media members and colleagues. He also contributed mightily to other programs such as men's ice hockey, soccer and football.
He preached his mantra of "positive and humble" to the likes of Craig Smith, Jared Dudley, Pete Mitchell, Matt Ryan, Mike Mottau, Chris Kreider and hundreds of others, no doubt helping them perfect their grammar and interview skills along the way. The skills he inherited from his teacher parents were evident in his tough love approach with Eagle student-athletes. He once famously told Matt Ryan "You're a Boston College graduate, why don't you sound like it once in a while?".
Dick was well known as a mentor to dozens of sports information student assistants and interns through the years. His no-nonsense, tough love approach fooled few, as his heart of gold inevitably won them over. Many of his protégés have gone on to highly successful careers in college athletics, professional football, network television, journalism and other fields. Dick received many accolades on a professional level and last February was given the US Basketball Writers Association's Most Courageous Award prior to the BC-Virginia basketball game before the longest standing ovation in the history of Conte Forum. Following the game, which BC won on a last-second shot, the entire team mobbed him on press row, a testament to the program's affection for a man who devoted so much of his life to his work.
In addition to his parents, Dick is survived by brother Ted and his wife Carrie, brother Patrick, nephews Michael and Ryan and nieces Emma and Meghan.
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A 1987 graduate of Boston College, Dick returned to his alma mater in September 1991 as the assistant sports information director. In December 1991, he was promoted to assistant athletics director for media relations at Boston College.
During his tenure at The Heights, Dick was involved with numerous NCAA championships for the men's basketball and men's ice hockey teams. In addition, Kelley served as assistant media coordinator for the 1999 East Region First and Second Rounds that Boston College hosted at the FleetCenter.
Upon receiving his bachelor's degree in communication and political science in 1987, Dick remained at Boston College, serving as the sports information graduate assistant for two years, while earning his master's degree. As graduate assistant, he served as the Eagles' media representative during their run to the semifinal round of the 1988 National Invitation Tournament.
In July 1989, he entered the sports information field on a full-time basis, accepting a position as assistant sports information director at nearby Boston University. Kelley was the men's soccer, men's basketball and baseball contact for the Terriers.
Dick previously served as an instructor in Boston College's Communication Department, teaching one newswriting course.
Kelley, a native of Andover, Mass., was a member of the College Sports Information Directors of America and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.