Cancer-free and #KellyTough, football great Jim Kelly (BBA, ’83) will serve as the grand marshal for the parade and celebration during Alumni Weekend and Homecoming 2014 on the campus of the University of Miami, Oct. 31.
Kelly also will serve as honorary captain at the Homecoming football game against the University of North Carolina the next day at Sun Life Stadium.
“The University of Miami was and remains an important part of my life,” Kelly said.” My family and I are honored and we look forward to being grand marshal of the Homecoming Parade and honorary captain for the Homecoming football game against North Carolina. Go ’Canes!” “We are thrilled and thankful to welcome a Hurricane great home,” said Donna Arbide, associate vice president of the UM Alumni Association.
“We expect a packed house of people eager to honor Jim and his family.”
Kelly was the quarterback for the Miami Hurricanes football team from 1979 to 1983. He was inducted into the UM Sports Hall of Fame in 1992, and is widely credited with beginning the quarterback tradition at Miami that has led the school to be known as “Quarterback U.” He also was at the helm for perhaps two of the biggest games in UM history, both against Penn State (at Penn State in 1979 and at home in 1981), beginning a turnaround that made Miami the most successful team in college football during the 1980s. In 1986, Kelly joined the Buffalo Bills and led them to four consecutive Super Bowl appearances in the 1990s. In 2002, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
After retiring from professional football in 1997, he has expended much of his considerable energy on his son, Hunter James Kelly. Hunter was diagnosed with Krabbe disease shortly after his birth, and it took his life at age 8. In 1997, while Hunter was still a baby, Kelly established a non-profit foundation called Hunter’s Hope. That ultimately became the Hunter James Kelly Research Institute at the University of Buffalo in 2004.