Kelley Named New Athletic Director
Bethel University President Robert Prosser has announced the appointment of Dale Kelley of Huntingdon as the athletic director for Bethel University. Kelley will succeed Glenn Hayes who announced his retirement in June.
"Dale Kelley is a Bethel graduate who has done extremely well," said Prosser. "Perhaps he is best known for officiating nine consecutive NCAA playoffs and selected for three final four NCAA basketball tournaments but more impressive is his career in sports, business and politics. Dale Kelley knows how to lead and will be a worthy successor to the exemplary leadership given Bethel by Athletic Director Glenn Hayes."
Kelley has served three Tennessee governors: as Commissioner of Employment Security and as Commissioner of Transportation under Lamar Alexander; on the Tennessee Higher Education Commission under Don Sundquist; and as Senior Advisor and Special Assistant to Governor Bill Haslam.
Kelley has also served as Coordinator of Officials for the Big 12 Conference, Conference USA, the Sunbelt Conference, the Southland Conference and the Ohio Valley Conference. Furthermore, Kelley is an accomplished athlete and has been named to the Bethel University Sports Hall of Fame, the TSSAA Hall of Fame, the Carroll County Sports Hall of Fame and the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and serves on the Board of Directors for the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
Kelley has also served three terms in the Tennessee House of Representatives as well as nine years on the Huntingdon School Board. He currently serves as the Mayor of Huntingdon, a role he has held for 20 years.
Additionally, Kelley is the owner of K & K Real Estate and Rental Properties.
"Dale Kelley has a vast experience base in working with coaches, managing operations and motivating people in the pursuit of excellence. This, along with his personal style of respecting people and his character suit him well to be the leader of Bethel’s athletic programs," Prosser said.
Kelley has a long list of leadership accomplishments. He was instrumental in seeing the construction of Carroll County’s new 1,000-acre recreational lake. He led the vision and development of the Dixie Carter Performing Arts and Academic Enrichment Center. He was instrumental in attracting and securing the $240 million industrial expansion of Norandal USA, Inc., to the town of Huntingdon, and he worked with state and local teams for the location of Behlen Manufacturing Co. in Huntingdon’s vacant industrial building in 1999. As Commissioner of Transportation, he selected the site and appropriated funding for the Carroll County Airport.
He is the 1985 Bethel College Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award Winner, and he was the first recipient of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce’s Carroll Countian of the Year. Kelley is a Carroll County Silver Medallion Award Winner, and a recipient of Huntingdon’s Pinnacle of Excellence Award for outstanding leadership and accomplishments in government, athletics and community. Under his leadership, the town of Huntingdon has received the Excellence in Downtown Revitalization Award, and the 2007 Governor’s Award in the Arts.
Kelley is married to Carlene Tullos Kelley, and they have three grown children and eight grandchildren.
Mr. Kelly commented on his appointment, "I am elated to be returning to my alma mater, Bethel University. I treasure nothing but great memories of my basketball career at Bethel."
He added, "I have always been extremely proud of Bethel; Bethel University is growing and is making an outstanding reputation all across this nation. In my new role, it is my desire and hope to give back to Bethel and to build on the solid foundation that has been laid. Throughout the years, Bethel has been a shining example of how academics and athletics work together to mold young women and men into responsible and productive citizens. Athletics have played a major role in my life. It has opened doors that a young boy from Buxter could have never dreamed of. Athletics instills in young people the importance of team work, the drive for excellence, the value of hard work and the significance of character-all of which are vital in today’s workforce. As a player on the Wildcat Basketball Team, I never imagined that I would become a NCAA Basketball official and supervisor of several college conferences. I suspect that I have visited more than 500 colleges and universities during my playing and officiating career and have also conducted clinics in Germany and England. I hope to use this experience to continue to grow the Bethel Sports Program."
Kelly summed up his thoughts, "President Prosser, thank you for giving me the opportunity to help an institution that we both love and cherish. Bethel has a rich and proud history, and I look forward to helping this great institution continue to make strides forward in its Athletic program. I look forward to working with the student athletes, coaches, our support team, and the school’s administration in making Bethel the Best University in the nation."
Bethel University is a member of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) and competes in the TranSouth Athletics Conference in all sports except Track and Football. The football and track programs compete in the Mid-South Athletic Conference. Bethel was a charter member of the VSAC. The school has 30 intercollegiate athletic programs competing in traditional and non-traditional sports.