December 19, 2011

Kelly Retires as Bayhawks Head Coach

He remains owner, no replacement named

from staff reports

Brendan Kelly stepped down Monday as coach of the Chesapeake Bayhawks team that he owns. He led the team to the 2010 MLL Championship after he took over coaching duties midseason.
© John Strohsacker/

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Chesapeake Bayhawks announced Monday that owner Brendan Kelly has retired from head coaching responsibilities. After two seasons of coaching, Kelly will refocus his energy and time into the ownership responsibilities of the franchise.

Kelly purchased the team in February of 2010 and immediately changed the name from the Washington Bayhawks to the Chesapeake Bayhawks in order to encompass a greater fan base throughout the region. After a four-game losing streak in July of 2010, Kelly stepped in to become head coach of the Bayhawks. Bringing new life into the team, Kelly led the Bayhawks to a playoff berth and then on to win the 2010 MLL Championship.

"It has been an honor to coach such an incredible group of athletes," Kelly said. "The Bayhawks have a very promising 2012 season coming up and I know that it is my time to retire and let the next coach lead them there. I will still be very involved in the organization as the owner. I plan to spend more time with the fans and sponsors and re-vamp our tailgates, which is something I have always wanted to be more involved in."

The Chesapeake organization has had a successful run under Kelly's leadership. He boasts an overall coaching record of 10-8, including the championship win, for the Bayhawks from July 2010 through the 2011 MLL season. Besides that, the franchise has seen an enormous growth in sponsorship and attendance as a direct result of Kelly's leadership off the field. As the owner, Kelly will remain active in the business side of the franchise and will look to further grow the organization and bring a new vision to the fan game-day experience.

"Jack Harbaugh said 'attack each day with enthusiasm unknown to mankind'," Bayhawks midfielder Kyle Dixon explained. "I can think of very few people that have impacted me directly that have lived their lives both personally and professionally by these words - Brendan is definitely one of them. I can't thank him enough for what he has done for this organization as a head coach and what he will continue to do as an owner."

The Bayhawks have not yet named a successor for Kelly, but the franchise expects to name a new head coach early 2012.

Will the team look to within for its head coach? That remains to be seen.

On a media conference call with MLL coaches Monday morning, Kelly was not present. Dave Cottle, the team president and former Maryland and Loyola coach, represtented the team and answered media questions about the recent MLL expansion and supplemental drafts, and what the Bayhawks are looking for in the Jan. 13 collegiate draft.

The Bayhawks also brought in former Denver coach and general manager Brian Reese as their new GM this offseason. During his time in Denver, Reese coached the Outlaws to four straight playoff berths and two championship game appearances.

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