Monday, May 25, 2020

COMMENTARY: Tribute to Lee Kelly

Southern Indiana Preps

I am shocked, saddened and heartbroken to learn of the passing of former WNAS-FM general manager and New Albany High School teacher Lee Kelly – the “Voice of the Bulldogs” - today. I knew that Lee had not been feeling well lately, but I did not know how serious his condition was.

Lee was one of the leaders of the Southern Indiana athletics media and I had nothing but the utmost respect for him.

I always appreciated his support when I was a sports writer at The Evening News and the News and Tribune and that support continued after my employment ended at the newspaper.

Anytime you needed help at a New Albany sporting event, whether it was reserving a seat for you in The Doghouse catwalk or the Buerk Field press box, finding a power outlet or a power strip to plug in your laptop or getting information on a Bulldog athlete, Lee was always willing to assist you.

If you wanted to interview him for an article you were working on, he always found the time for you. Or if you needed to talk about problems that was going on at work or in your life, he was there to listen.

I always enjoyed talking to Lee before ballgames we covered together. He always greeted me with a smile and a handshake and asked how I was doing. Sometimes, he had a joke or a sarcastic quip to share to loosen me up.

For a little while when we were at the same game, he would come over and ask me who I was picking to win, and I’d let him know my prediction and tell him the reason for it.

Lee was passionate about a lot of things in his life. Two of those passions were Southern Indiana high school athletics and radio. He did fabulous work at WNAS for four decades. After his retirement from New Albany, that great work continued as he broadcasted high school games and gave his insight on several high school-related shows for WXVW-AM in Jeffersonville.

But another passion Lee had was teaching high school students and having a positive impact on their lives. He did a great job with that as I have read several Facebook posts from his former students praising him today.

Lee Kelly was a fantastic individual and without question he will be missed.

My condolences go out to Lee’s wife Sally and the entire Kelly family.
RIP Lee Kelly.