During my journalism schooling I was always taught that you have to remain unbiased and unaffected by the subjects of your story. Kelly challenged that theory. His problem was that he was a Nevada boy first, and a sportswriter second. I don't know if I've met any bigger fan of Nevada High School athletics, the Nevada Griffons and the Kansas City Royals.
He taught me that it was OK to care about the subjects you write about. Through him I learned that it is possible to set aside those feelings to write about a story, but to still want the best for those you cover.
Nevada coach and teacher Kevin McKinley also offered a few thoughts on his longtime friend:
As I set in my classroom on Wednesday morning with another long time friend of Kelly's, head basketball coach John McNeley, I recounted my last visit with our friend in late July. He was residing in a nursing home in Butler and I brought him his favorite treat….a White Grill cheeseburger. As we visited about politics, local athletics and his medical condition, I could sense that my longtime friend was failing and I could also sense that Kelly knew I was upset about it. As I turned toward the door to leave, my eyes misting, Kelly set up in his bed and said sternly….next time don't forget the onions! I left with a bittersweet smile…..replaced with a heavy heart today.