/In the News/

Campbellton’s Kelly in the middle of Tebowmania

By |2018-08-14T10:10:35+00:00December 18th, 2011|News|

Twitter: @PCNHJasonShoot   DENVER — Anthony “Champ” Kelly finds himself smack dab in the middle of the maelstrom that is Tebowmania. The Campbellton native is the assistant director of pro personnel with the NFL’s Denver Broncos, and he’s had a privileged seat watching Tim Tebow and the Broncos ascend to the top of the AFC West and make a run toward the playoffs. “I’ve never been in a situation — and I’ve played on almost every level, coached and done some stuff in football — I haven’t been around a guy or a situation like this with Tim,” Kelly said late last week. “But he directs the attention to the right place. He doesn’t ask for all of this. He wants to go out, play football and win games. “He knows where his faith comes from, and that’s the main thing.” Tebow will quarterback the Broncos against one of the NFL’s most consistent franchises over the past decade, the New England Patriots (3 p.m. CST, CBS). Denver (8-5) has won six straight games and seven of eight since Tebow earned the starting nod over Kyle Orton following Week 5. Tebow has rallied Denver to a number of come-from-behind victories this season, but he can’t afford to start slowly as he has in most of his games. New England will try to establish an early lead and force the Broncos to rally by throwing the ball, which not only puts added pressure on Tebow, but it also could make Denver more one-dimensional without a running game to balance the play calling. “We’re playing against one of the best teams in the NFL over the last few years,” Kelly said. “They have one of the best QBs [...]

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Kelly uses experience to help struggling kids

By |2018-08-14T10:10:36+00:00August 14th, 2011|News|

Whenever the NFL lockout finally ends... and the Broncos can start signing players, Anthony "Champ" Kelly, their assistant director of pro personnel, will start working the phones. Alongside the rest of the Broncos' front-office team, Kelly will recruit free agents — unrestricted, college and the Broncos' own — in the frenzy expected to follow ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement. For many of the players on the other end of those calls, the NFL is a land of dreams. But Kelly, 31, knows a little more about dreams than most. He took a decidedly unorthodox path to the Broncos' front office. The son of a mother addicted to crack cocaine and a mostly absent father, he was raised by his grandparents in Campbellton, Fla., population 220, just south of the Alabama state line. His mother went into labor with him on her 20th birthday. "I was actually 'Champ' before I was Anthony," he said in his Dove Valley office last week. "When I was born, my mother said, 'We made it, didn't we, champ?' So everybody called me Champ from that point on. I was named Anthony three days later." It would be a while before he understood what his mother meant. "Before she passed, on her deathbed, she became my best friend," he said. "She told me about her regrets." His mother's addiction led to heart failure. She spent her final months bedridden, dying a little more than six years ago at age 45. "As a kid growing up, not understanding addiction, you feel like your parents don't love you, or that you're isolated and alone," Kelly said. "But now, in hindsight, I understand that it wasn't that she loved me any less, [...]

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C.H.A.M.P. Camp Back in Graceville

By |2018-08-14T10:10:36+00:00June 30th, 2011|News|

GRACEVILLE, Fla- It's time for the 2nd annual C.H.A.M.P. Camp at Graceville High School this week. It's a football camp hosted by Anthony "Champ" Kelly, a Graceville alum, who is the assistant director of pro personnel for the Denver Broncos. Kelly wants to continue to give back to the kids in his hometown and beyond. Last summer Champ Kelly started the C.H.A.M.P. camp to show young football players the fundamentals of the game, and to also teach them about more than just football. "Just talk about life skills," Champ Kelly said. "Accountability, just encouragement. About being tough, being reliable." Champ and his coaches are back for year number two, which they hope will doubles the first. "We've gone to Dothan Alabama to encourage some of those kids to come out. We had a chance to go to some schools here in Panama city to encourage those kids to come out. So we're excited about this year, hoping to double the turnout from a year ago in Graceville," added Kelly. Champ is not alone in this venture. He brings in several coaches and former players to give these children a chance to learn from people who have been where they want to go. People like Eric Kelly, a Bay High alum and former Kentucky Wildcat, who played in the NFL. "Just to be able to help the kids out and give them an opportunity to understand what it takes to achieve their goals, whether it's being an athlete or a doctor or lawyer," Eric Kelly said. "Whatever it may be. Just being able to give the kids in my area, that don't get that opportunity on an every day basis, a chance to meet someone who's [...]

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Kelly’s Camp Fosters Success

By |2018-08-14T10:10:36+00:00June 18th, 2011|News|

Assistant Director of Pro Personnel Champ Kelly runs a football camp pointing youths in the right direction.   ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Anthony "Champ" Kelly grew up in a broken home.   Living in a small rural town in the Florida panhandle, his parents struggled to provide a stable household and there were constant temptations to get involved with a dangerous crowd. It would have been easy for Kelly to fall prey to his difficult surroundings, but he survived that troubled childhood. "When I was growing up my mother was addicted to drugs and my dad wasn't around all the time. I was raised basically by my grandparents. We didn't have a whole lot," Kelly said. "A lot of the people that I grew up with - a lot of those people are in jail. Some are dead. Some got involved in drugs. I could have made the decision to get on the wrong path. "But having athletics and the strong presence of coaches helped steer me on the right path." Kelly - now the assistant director of pro personnel for the Denver Broncos - found success and proper guidance through the game of football. He played collegiately at the University of Kentucky and later played professionally in the United Indoor Football League. Now, with the help of his wife Stephanie, Kelly is using the sport to help steer youths in the right direction with Heart Power Inc. - a non-profit organization the couple created in 2010. According to Kelly, the most important aspect of his organization is the two-day, non-contact football camps. The 2nd annual C.H.A.M.P. camp recently took place in Kelly's hometown of Graceville, Fla., and also made its way to Lexington, Ky., for [...]

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Graceville native Kelly gives back with C.H.A.M.P. Camp

By |2011-05-25T13:30:02+00:00May 25th, 2011|News|

    By JASON SHOOT / News Herald Writer    GRACEVILLE — Anthony “Champ” Kelly refused to be an example of someone who moved away from this quiet town and never returned. “I lived in Campbellton all my life and graduated from Graceville,” said Kelly, now the assistant coordinator of pro and college scouting for the NFL’s Denver Broncos. “It’s a very small, rural area. There are not a lot of professionals like pro athletes or pro business people who came back to Graceville and spoke to the kids or students there. So for me, I didn’t know what all was out there. Not knowing what’s out there can limit your vision of where you want to go.” For the second consecutive year, Kelly is giving back to his former home in the form of The C.H.A.M.P. Camp, a two-day non-contact football camp scheduled for June 30 and July 1 at Graceville High School. The camp is for kids ages 10-17 and costs $50 to enter, though exceptions may be made for kids unable to cover the expense. Last year’s camp included 120 athletes, and Kelly hopes the camp grows considerably this year. Kelly added that he expects the number of staffers to increase, too, with a blend of area coaches and former college players. “Last year we had around 30 (coaches) and probably 15 people on the staff,” Kelly said. “This year we hope there’s around 40 coaches from the local area, and the guys I’m bringing with me. … The thing we hope to accomplish with this camp is this: We want those guys to see past the streets of Campbellton, Graceville, Panama City, Dothan (Ala.),” Kelly said. “The sky truly is the [...]

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Kentucky football became family affair for Kelly cousins

By |2018-08-14T10:10:36+00:00May 19th, 2011|News|

JASON SHOOT / News Herald Writer GRACEVILLE — Anthony Kelly learned quickly he was among brothers in arms when he arrived to play football at the University of Kentucky. He was a little slow to pick up that he had a cousin in arms there, too. “So I get to UK’s campus, and I was recruited as an athlete but they immediately put me in as a defensive back,” Kelly said. “The leader at that time was Eric Kelly, one of the top corners in the nation. His last name was Kelly, he was from Florida, so he took me under his wing. Wherever we went he said, ‘This is my little cousin,’ and I’d tell everybody, ‘This is my big cousin.’ “We had no idea that was the reality.” An entire semester had passed before the two Kellys learned they were related, Kelly said. Their fathers were brothers, and it took a phone call from Anthony’s dad to bring it to light. “My dad called me one day and asked if I had fun playing with my cousin,” said Anthony Kelly, who grew up in Campbellton while Eric Kelly was attending Bay High School in Panama City. “I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ Basically Eric’s dad was my dad’s brother. It’s crazy. And Eric’s brother and I knew each other. It just never really dawned on us we were related. For me, the Kelly side of my family I always thought lived in Alabama and South Florida. It totally blew us away.” Kelly said the relationship between the two cousins changed immediately. “Absolutely,” he said. “From that point on we held each other accountable. … It was encouraging to know I had an [...]

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Former UK Football Player Gives Back to Alma Mater

By |2011-05-10T14:40:53+00:00May 10th, 2011|News|

Raised in a small, rural town in Florida’s panhandle, Anthony “Champ” Kelly, Denver Broncos Assistant Director of Player Personnel and former University of Kentucky student athlete, says his childhood and home life were sometimes difficult.  However, he gives credit to his community for embracing and nurturing him throughout hard times. The love and support Kelly garnered from his community afforded him confidence and resiliency.  Ultimately, making him who he is today, and impelling him to volunteer throughout his time at UK and beyond.  Because of this, Kelly and his wife Stephanie, founded Heart Power, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting youth and their families who are in search of positive, encouraging influences in their lives. “The most impactful community event of my life was volunteering at Kentucky Children’s Hospital during ‘Breakfast with Santa,’” said Kelly. “I was privileged to witness the amazing spirits of kids and babies who were very sick. These kids had smiles and ambitions that proved to me that it is possible to be victorious over adversity.” Now, more than ten years since his experience at the Kentucky Children’s Hospital, Kelly’s Heart Power wants to again contribute to the hospital through proceeds from the C.H.A.M.P. Camp.  The camp, Heart Power’s most important event, is a two-day, non-contact football camp for children ages 10-17.  The inaugural camp was held at Kelly’s high school in Graceville, Fla. in the summer of 2010. The staff and coaches worked with more than 120 campers to instill the core values of Character, Heart, Attitude, Motivation, and Pride through instruction of football fundamentals and speakers delivering messages on life skills and the importance of making good decisions.  Speakers and coaches consisted of a variety of local business [...]

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Graceville hosts ‘C.H.A.M.P. Camp’

By |2018-08-14T10:10:36+00:00May 26th, 2010|News|

By: Dustin Kent Published: May 26, 2010 » 0 Comments | Post a Comment Former Graceville High School and University of Kentucky football star Anthony “Champ” Kelly will be conducting his first high school football camp July 8-9 at Graceville High School. The “C.H.A.M.P Camp” will be a two-day, non-contact camp for students ages 10 to 17 from Northwest Florida. The camp will stress football fundamentals, speed and agility, as well as focus on life skills and education. C.H.A.M.P. stands for “Character, Heart, Attitude, Motivation and Pride.” The 30-year-old Kelly, who now works as assistant director of pro personnel for the NFL’s Denver Broncos, said the camp’s mission is as much about the off-field lessons as the on-field ones. “The main thing is using football to get kids to listen to people talk about life skills, upcoming obstacles, and the importance of education,” Kelly said. “I’ve really been tremendously blessed to be raised by this community, and have opportunity to go get an education while playing football, play a little semi-pro ball, and now I’m living a dream as a scout in the NFL. “When I was at Graceville, I didn’t get to see professionals talk to kids, to see how they got to where they’re at. I never wanted to lose sight of that. I want to make sure kids have an example to look to.” After graduating from Graceville in 1998, Kelly moved on to play for the Kentucky Wildcats for four years, playing both cornerback and receiver. He then got his master’s degree while working for IBM for two years. But his fondness for football got him back in the sport. Kelly went to play for the Lexington Horsemen of the United Indoor [...]

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