Charles Kelly was named the associate defensive coordinator for The University of Alabama in 2019. Coach Kelly, also the safeties coach, won one national championship, mentored multiple All-Americans, won six conference championships, including three ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) titles, and coached a Lou Groza Award winner.
In 2018, Kelly worked with University of Tennessee’s program, where he served as the special team’s coordinator and safeties coach. Kelly ranked fourth in the country in punt return defense and fourth in the league in punt returns.
Coach Kelly also spent time serving as the defensive coordinator at Florida State University (2013-2018). His defense ranked in the nation’s top 25 during his final three years, including No. 18 in 2017, after allowing only 331.1 total yards per game. Coach Kelly led the Seminoles to the first ever College Football Playoff in 2014 with a program record 29-game win streak.
Kelly served as Georgia Techs special team’s coordinator for seven seasons from 2006-2012. Kelly helped Georgia Tech win the 2009 ACC Championship and secure a spot in the 2010 Orange Bowl, wrapping up the season with 11-3 record. Kelly coached punter, Durant Brooks, who went on to win the Ray Guy Award in late 2007.
During his last season with Georgia Tech, Kelly was promoted to defensive coordinator. He helped finish the season with a Sun Bowl victory over Southern California, in which his defense held the Trojans’ offense to just 205 yards and seven points.
Kelly also coached at Nicholls State from 2002 to 2005, where he served as defensive backs coach for two seasons before being promoted to the teams’ defensive coordinator. The colonels gained the Southland Conference title in 2005, ranking No. 17 in the nation in total defense.
Coach Kelly spent five years as a defensive coordinator between Jacksonville State and Henderson State from 1994-1999. He started his coaching career at an Alabama high school, Phenix City Central High School from 1990-1992, before returning back to Auburn as a graduate assistant one year later.
Kelly is a 1990 graduate of Auburn University with a degree in secondary math education. He later earned his master’s degree from Troy in 2002.
Kelly, an Opelika native, is married to his wife, Kristy, and together they have three daughters: Caroline, Kathleen, and Charli Grace.