After the most successful season in his FCS career, Georgetown football Head Coach Kevin Kelly was named 2011 Patriot League coach of the year on Nov. 22.
In his sixth year at the helm of the football program on the Hilltop, Kelly led Georgetown to its best season since rejoining the FCS in 2001 as well as its best Patriot League finish over that same span.
Prior to coming to Georgetown, Kelly had over 20 years of coaching experience at many levels of college football. Immediately before being named the Hoyas’ head coach, Kelly spent four years at Navy, serving as the program’s special teams coordinator and linebackers’ coach.
During his time at Navy, the team appeared in three bowl games, winning two in 2004 and 2005.
When he arrived on the Hilltop, Kelly was charged with improving a program that had been mired in mediocrity through its first five years in the FCS.
But despite his record of success as an assistant, his tenure with the Blue and Gray did not get off to a good start, as he led the squad to just five wins in his first four seasons.
However, behind Kelly’s firm and steady guidance, the Hoyas improved considerably in 2010 following a winless 2009 campaign.
The squad showed significant improvement this season, racking up eight wins en route to a second-place finish in the Patriot League.
Kelly, however, was reluctant to take the credit.
“The coach of the year — I really see [it] as a staff of the year award, Kelly said. We’re very fortunate here at Georgetown to have the staff that we have, and they deserve a lot of credit for all that they do and have done to put us on the right track.”
The season culminated with a Nov. 12 matchup against Lehigh in the Patriot League championship game. Although the Hoyas fell to the defending champs, 34-12, the team put up a strong effort and looks to continue its growth into next season.
Kelly was also named one of 20 finalists for the Eddie Robinson FCS coach of the year award, which will be announced on Jan. 6 at the FCS national awards banquet in Frisco, Texas, the day before the FCS national championship game.
In addition to Coach Kelly, a number of Hoyas received honors for their standout performances this season.
Heading the list was senior Andrew Schaetzke, who earned Patriot League defensive player of the year following a season in which he recorded 69 tackles, 22.5 tackles for a loss of 108 yards, 13 quarterback sacks and an interception.
Schaetzke, who rose to the second spot on the Georgetown all-time sacks list and third in the Patriot League with 30.5 sacks in his career, was also named to the Buck Buchanan FCS defensive player of the year watch list.
“Andrew, as I’ve said all along, is the best defensive player in the league,” Kelly said He’s a guy that everyone in this league has to scheme for, so it’s not surprising that he earned this honor.”
Schaetzke was also named to the Patriot League first team defense along with juniors Robert McCabe and Jeremy Moore.
In addition to earning first team honors at his primary cornerback spot on defense, Moore was named to the first team offense for his impressive performance as a return specialist with his 29.2 yards per kick return average.
Freshman defensive lineman Mike Roland, sophomore running back Nick Campanella, senior cornerback Jayah Kaisamba and senior place kicker Brett Weiss earned second team honors.
Senior running back Chance Logan and senior wide receiver Jeremiah Kayal also earned honors, being named to the academic all-Patriot League team.
The Hoyas’ breakthrough season is clearly receiving the recognition it deserves. Georgetown football fans hope the end-of-season hardware collection becomes a trend.