FLEMINGSBURG, Ky. (AP) - Former Austin Peay and Oral Roberts
basketball coach Lake Kelly has died in his hometown.
Oral Roberts athletic department spokesman Cris Belvin says the 75-year-old Kelly died early Thursday due to complications from kidney stones.
Kelly coached 11 seasons during two stints at Austin Peay, from 1971 to 1977 and 1985 to 1990. He guided the Governors to NCAA tournament appearances in 1973, 1974 and 1987, when they upset Illinois 68-67 in the first round.
He spent two seasons at Oral Roberts, going 30-24 from 1977 to 1979. His career record was 219-146.
Kelly also spent one season as an assistant at Kentucky under Joe B. Hall and worked as a high school coach in Winchester, Ky.
"The Fleming County School System Released This Statement"
On behalf of the Fleming County Schools’ Community, we are shocked and saddened by the passing of Coach Lake Kelly. A native Fleming Countian, Coach Kelly made his mark on the basketball world at the collegiate and high school level, before finishing his career working as a dedicated member of the Fleming County School District for 15 ½ years. As Head Basketball Coach, he provided this community with the most exciting two year run in the history of Fleming County Basketball, resulting in back to back 10th Region Championships and a trip to the Boys KHSAA Sweet Sixteen Final Four. As a coach and administrator in our schools, Mr. Kelly touched the lives of countless youth who were fortunate enough to play for him or walk the halls in which he served as Principal and Assistant Principal. We send our deepest condolences to his wife Marty, and the entire Kelly family. He will be sorely missed.
Here are what some are saying about the former UK assistant:
"This is so hard to believe. If not for Lake, I wouldn't be where I am today. He gave me my first chance at coaching and I'll forever be grateful. You know, as great of a coach as he was, and there was none better, he was even a far greater person." -- Rick Stansbury, Mississippi State coach
"He was so helpful, not only with X's and O's... his positive attitude, demeanor, common sense. Being with someone like that just smoothed everything out." -- Joe B. Hall, former UK coach
"He was like a father figure to me. He will be missed." -- Sam Bowie, UK All-American center
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)