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High School Coach Using No Punts, Onside Kicks Only Strategy, Hired By FCS School

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A high school football coach in Little Rock, Arkansas is known for his out-of-the-box approach to running his program. Yes, the approach is unorthodox, but it works — and now that same coach will get to prove it at the college level.

Kevin Kelley, the now former head coach for Pulaski Academy, has won the state championship nine times in the last 18 years. One strategy he’s implemented over the years is one we have all used in video games such as Madden and NCAA Football, but that’s about it.

If you’re going to beat Kelley, you are going to have to do two things: get stops on fourth downs and recover onside kicks — a lot of them. This is because Kelley’s squad never punts the ball and very rarely has a regular kick off.

Like I said, it’s unorthodox, but the results are there.

In fact, the philosophy has worked so well that a struggling FCS school, Presbyterian College, is hiring Kelly to bring his approach to next level. This news comes from Kyle Deckelbaum with KATV in Little Rock.

“Pulaski Academy coach Kevin Kelley is leaving,” Deckelbaum tweeted on Thursday. “He will be the head coach at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, according to an email sent to school parents.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m really curious to see how this works out. If it does, Kelley might eventually be considered for the Green Bay Packers job. At this point, fans might consider anyone willing to go for it on fourth down an upgrade.

Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.

Written by Clint Lamb

Clint Lamb is a College Football Writer for OutKick. Managing Editor for Roll Tide Wire. Sports radio host for The Bullpen on 730/103.9 The UMP. Co-host for The 'Bama Beat podcast through The Tuscaloosa News and TideSports.com.

8 Comments

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  1. This is great stuff! Coach makes stats-driven decisions and at THAT LEVEL OF PLAY, is undeniably successful. FCS level will also likely make sense BUT like anything else, this will come down to the “Jimmy’s and the Joes” of this style… If I had Derrick Henry and Kyler Murray together in my NFL backfield, my chances of converting 4th and short with read-option are pretty good! Love the innovation!

  2. We’ll see how well this strategy flies when it’s 4th and long on his own 10 with a lead. Field position is and always will be a key to victory in football. The game is literally based on war, so if you fight war like kamikaze you’re not lasting long. Furthermore no punts and all onside kicks shows a lack of respect for the spirit and intention of the game.

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