Kelley enjoyed HOF induction

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Former Andalusia High School superintendent Pete Kelley was recently inducted into the Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame.

“It was exciting,” Kelley said when about hearing the news. “I spent my first 14 years in education coaching before I moved to administration so there was a lot of distance between my coaching days.”

In years past, Kelley said he had been approached about being nominated for the HOF.

“I’ve been asked a few times before,” Kelley said. “Coach (Richard) Robertson tried when I was in Andalusia, but I just had other things going on at the time.”

At the induction ceremony, Kelley said he got to see several of his former players.

“There was a good turnout to the event,” Kelley said. “A lot of my old players came to it and even some teachers and cheerleaders. Those guys that I coached on my first team are now in their 60s.”

During his time at Kinston, Kelley went to the state tournament three times and won it in 1981.

“When we won the state championship was probably the most memorable moment of coaching,” Kelley said. “Really that whole year was memorable. We played the championship at Coleman Coliseum in the afternoon right after Alabama and Vanderbilt played for the conference championship. A lot of those people stayed and watched our game. We scheduled up and played tough competition to prepare us for area. That year Brantley had Chuck Persons and they were a great team. We had to beat them to get to the finals. That summer I also coached the North South All-Star and Charles Barkley was one of the players on the team.”

As his children got older, Kelley moved from coaching to administration.

“It was just the right time for me to stop coaching,” Kelley said. “My oldest son was going into ninth grade and I wanted him to enjoy it. I wasn’t sure he would enjoy playing for his dad. I’ve missed it and have even had schools call me about just coaching basketball even after I retired.”