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MX News Update 2024

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Lanier hires Tommy Kelly as head football coach

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – Jackson native Tommy Kelly was introduced Thursday as the new head football coach at Lanier. Kelly, who graduated from Provine, played college football at Mississippi State and 11 seasons in the NFL, primarily with the then-Oakland Raiders.

“I’m a kid from Jackson, went to Provine High School. Growing up, it was always my dream, if I didn’t make it to the league, to come back and be a high school coach, so I jumped at the opportunity when it opened up for me,” Kelly said of the opportunity.

After retiring from the NFL, Kelly went on to coach for his alma mater, working as a defensive line coach and eventually defensive coordinator at Provine. Last season, Kelly worked on the defensive line at Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

By taking on this new role, Kelly hopes to serve as motivation for his players; that a boy from Jackson can play processional football.

“I think I’m a good example of it doesn’t matter where you come from,” he said. “I come from the same area as them, all it took was for me to exert myself, not get distracted by other things and just work hard. So I just went fast; When I got the opportunity, I didn’t look back.”

“I feel like it’s going to be a great experience,” junior running back Jeremiah Wilson said. “Knowing that he’s been there, gone to that next level and played with three different NFL teams, I look at that as a great opportunity to showcase my skills to him, and for him to show us different colleges where we can go.”

Kelly replaces former head coach Michael Ashford, who resigned due to health issues.

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