Jeff Kelly ’82-’84 Football
Jeff’s choice to attend Iowa Lakes was made because he liked the college; he wanted a chance to see some playing time as a freshman; and, his brother had attended here as well.
As a freshman, he was named the team’s offensive “most valuable player” and, honorable mention All-Conference. During his sophomore season he was again honored with the offensive MVP award plus the overall team MVP, and second team All-Conference.
Like many others at Iowa Lakes, Jeff received his general education degree to transfer to a four-year university. While attending he helped in the food service area as a dish washer. This was a very humbling position for him, but one perk of the job was the free food!
The coaching staff that included Ed Neibauer, Roger Guge and Dan Summy had a great work ethic and they were committed to helping the team in every way possible. “Ed is an incredible coach, mentor and human being. I have been tremendously influenced and blessed by Coach Neibauer." In fact, Coach Neibauer and Jeff coached together at Black Hills State from 1990-1996.
Coach Roger Guge wrote some memories about Jeff. “He was the Quarterback that started it all when Coach Neibauer went to the spread offense. Jeff had to find out what it meant to throw the ball 60 times a game. I'm sure he wondered many times why he was doing this because throwing the ball that many times comes with sacks and a lot of hits after the throw; but, Jeff was a tough competitor and never backed down from what we asked him to do."
After Iowa Lakes, he attended Westmar College where he still holds records to this day. Some of those records include: 3,651 career passing yards; 2,425 single season passing yards; most passing attempts in a game at 70; most completions in a game with 30; and, most touchdowns thrown in a season with 16. Jeff was also a NAIA player of the week in 1984.
He is now the Vice President of Corporate Development with the Pizza Ranch Corporation out of Orange City, IA.
There is one person outside of the college that made an impact on Jeff, - and that was Linda Heldt. “She was always in a great mood, was willing to help and had connections in the community. Her kindness and support are something I will never forget."
Jeff has a very close family and appreciates all the love and support they have given him throughout the years especially his wife and kids. He also appreciates the strength of his mom and her wonderful sense of humor; and, his late father for all of the teaching, practicing and hours he worked with him while growing up.
Congratulations Jeff Kelly on being named to the First Ever Laker Hall of Fame.