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Q&A with Georgia Tech assistant Charles Kelly

Tuesday June 8,2010 Staff

Charles Kelly enters his fifth season at Georgia Tech, his third season under head coach Paul Johnson and his first season as defensive backs coach. Kelly served as the corners coach the previous two seasons for the Yellow Jackets. As a former defensive coordinator at three different schools, Kelly served as the Yellow Jackets' special teams coordinator in 2006 and 2007. He was instrumental in making Georgia Tech into one of the nation's best special teams units in 2007. Kelly has previously coached at Nicholls State, Jacksonville State, Henderson State, Auburn, and on the high school level.

What is something you will harp on during August practice that maybe you haven’t emphasized as much in previous years?

Coming off an ACC championship, I have to talk with our guys about handling success. Sometimes handing success can be very difficult, even more difficult than overcoming adversity. Nobody can become complacent. With some of our young defensive backs, I will need to be in their ear about continuing the process.

What is something unique that Coach Johnson implements on the practice field that you really like?

In August practice, Coach Johnson likes to devote an entire scrimmage to just special teams. That’s all we do. The entire day is devoted to special teams situations. I haven’t been around a day like that before, and it has been phenomenal for us. It is very effective…good for finding players, evaluating players, and conditioning. The other thing about our practices…everything is a competition. We want our players to compete in every drill, everyday.

In the defensive staff meetings, what is unique about working with your coordinator, Al Groh?

Coach Groh’s experience makes him unique. He was the head coach of the New York Jets and has been around for a long time. He has a unique perspective and it’s humbling for me to learn his ideas.

Georgia Tech assistant Charles Kelly

Outside of work, what is the one thing you really enjoy about living in Atlanta?

I really enjoy taking the family to the Braves games. There is so much to do in Atlanta…the Braves, the aquarium, good restaurants.

What’s the best thing your wife, Kristy, likes about living in Atlanta?

The school system we have our children in is terrific, plus there are so many opportunities with extracurricular activities for our children.

In season, which day of the week besides Saturday do you look forward to the most?

Thursday. I always look forward to Thursday. It’s more of a mental and polish up type of day. After practice, my wife and I take the kids to Fuddruckers. We get to relax and most every week, we all watch the Thursday night game. All of us, even the 3 girls…they love football.

Atlanta is known for some pretty bad traffic. From door to door, how long does it take you to get from home to the office in the mornings?

It takes me 35 minutes because we reside in Woodstock. We chose to live a little bit further out than most of our coaches. Woodstock is more of a small town feel, but there is plenty to do. On the drive in to work, I usually listen to music. On the way home, a lot of times I will talk on my cell with a few recruits. 35 minutes is fine with me…by the time I get home, my emotions from the day are behind me. I put football behind me and look forward to seeing my family.

Everyone has been around a GA that busts his tail. As a full-time coach, who is the best GA you have ever worked with? Why was he so good to work with? What’s he doing now?

At Nicholls State, we had a young man named Steve Ellis that was a real worker. Obsessed. Wanted to make himself a coach. With each day he became more reliable. I’m not surprised Steve is having success now. He is coaching the corners at Middle Tennessee State.

You coached for 4 seasons at Nichols State. Two of the great bars in the South are Rox’s and Bubba 2’s in Thibodaux, LA. Are you familiar with both places and which place did the old Nichols State staff prefer?

You’re right. Bubba’s is great. I could get any type of crawfish I wanted. They had about 5 or 6 crawfish dishes and the etouffee was out of this world. The entire staff at Nicholls State liked both places.

During your vacation break this summer, what do you plan to do? Any trips planned?

Our family will head down to Panama City. We’ve always liked the beach. When the kids were on spring break, my wife took them down there. It’s just a good place to relax before the season gets going.