David C. Kelley
David C. Kelley
Team: Ice Hockey

David C. Kelley '60
Sport: Ice Hockey
Year Inducted: 1985

In December of 1959, two teams from Rhode Island - Brown and Providence College - faced off against each other in the consolation round of the Boston Arena Christmas Hockey Tournament. Brown appeared to be at a disadvantage, as the team was missing two of its forwards because of injuries. But the Bruins played solid, defensive hockey, and pushed the Friars into sudden-death overtime before losing the game, 2-1. And in addition to Brown's strong defensive showing, a tough forward, David C. Kelley '60 gave the fans from College Hill a taste of offensive firepower. "In the seventh minute of the second period," reported the Providence Journal, "Dave Kelley broke from the center zone against two Friar defenders. He cut to his left as he crossed the blue line and appeared to be well covered by the Providence rearguard. But as he neared the boards, the sharpshooting Bruin veteran cut loose with a blistering 35-footer that landed in the netting behind goalie Paul Gauthier for a 1-0 Brown lead." Another press report about the game, quoted in the Brown Alumni Monthly, had glowing praise for Kelley. "Skating double shifts because of Brown's shorthandedness, (he) played tremendous hockey and was a threat every time he got his stick on the puck." For his outstanding play Kelley was named to the first-team tournament all-stars, and was runner-up for Most Valuable Player. David Kelley notched other honors in his Brown career. He ranks fifteenth on the Bruin's all-time scoring list (tied with Peter J. Tutless '56), with 56 goals, 39 assists for 95 points. He made second-team All East in 1958 and was on both the First Team All-Ivy and First Team All-East teams in 1960. Kelley was a hero in another game during his senior year, when on February 2 the hockey team broke a three-game losing streak and evened its Ivy record by beating Princeton, 6-2, with three goals and an assist from Kelley. "It was a well-deserved triumph for Brown, which coupled the Kelley-engineered offense with some of its patented defensive play," the Providence Journal reporter wrote. "Kelley, one of the top forwards in New England college circles, scored two of his goals in the opening period...In hiking his goal total for the season to 18, the veteran wing for Brown off and running with a whistling 25-footer that caught the upper-right corner of the cage." Kelley scored again with a 40-foot shot from the right in the final minute of the first period. In the second period, "Kelley gathered in his own rebound while seemingly past the cage and managed to put it past (the Princeton goalie). Then, to complete his night's work, the Melrose (Massachusetts) speedster broke with Ed Jones on a 2-on-1 situation in the 16th minute. He held the puck and then slipped it to Jones, who hit on a short shot from in front." Looking back, Kelley, now a school teacher on Martha's Vineyard where he lives with his wife, Susan, and three children, has difficulty remembering his postseason honors. "It's been a long time," he explains. But he remembers vividly what a good time he had. "Jim Fullerton was our coach," he recalls, "and Henry Coupe was the assistant coach. It seems to me that they had the right attitude about winning and losing. Basically, we had a lot of fun playing the game. When we won, which was about half the time, it was usually an upset, and a tribute to their coaching ability. I was fortunate to play for Jim and enjoyed every minute of it." Brown hockey fans of the era shared that enjoyment and sense of fun - in large part because of the heroics of David Kelley.