The football coach of a key Magnolia Panthers rival is leaving Pulaski Academy for a South Carolina college.
Kevin Kelley will become the head football coach at Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC. Presbyterian has about 1,300 students.
Pulaski Academy announced in an email Thursday afternoon that Kelley is leaving the Bruins football program.
Kelley has been an advocate for an unconventional style of football. His teams seldom punt on fourth downs, preferring to attempt to convert fourth downs from any position on the field. Kelley also prefers to go for two points after touchdowns, then uses on-side kicks to regain possession.
Kelley’s Bruins have been highly successful against Magnolia in recent years, winning five of their last six meetings. In recent years, PA beat Magnolia 53-28 in the 2020 Class 5A quarterfinals, and won 63-34 in 2019. PA won a 2016 first-round playoff game against Magnolia, 49-25.
Magnolia last beat PA 38-23 in 2009.
The Bruins have won state football championships in 2003, 2008, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020.
In football, Presbyterian College began competition this year in the Pioneer Football League. The conference played an abbreviated schedule of games in March and April and the Presbyterian Blue Hose had a 4-3 record. Presbyterian competes in the Big South Conference, an NCAA Division I conference, in all other sports.
In addition to Presbyterian, the Pioneer Football League includes San Diego, St. Thomas (MN), Drake, Butler, Valparaiso, Dayton, Morehead State, Davidson, Stetson and Marist.