|Jim Kelly learned invaluable lessons from his extraordinary parents; his father was raised by nuns in an orphanage outside of Pittsburgh, while his mother’s every move conveyed an aura of sainthood. His parents and his five brothers gave him strength and motivation throughout his career. He was offered a scholarship as a linebacker at Penn State, but declined it to sign as a quarterback at the University of Miami. Kelly was a Heisman trophy candidate in 1982, alongside Dan Marino and John Elway. That year he suffered a severe shoulder injury and doctors told him his football days were a chronicle of the past. On NFL Draft Day, he was the Bills’ first round fourteenth pick and was selected 3rd in the Quarterback Class of ‘83.
Despite being drafted by the Buffalo Bills, he opted to play for the USFL, Houston Gamblers and was named the USFL Player of the Year. When the USFL suspended operations, Jim turned back to his contract with the Bills and began playing in 1986. Kelly led the Buffalo Bills to four consecutive Super Bowl appearances. In 1990 was named MVP in the Pro bowl during one of five appearances and was named the AFC Offensive Player of the week ten times during his career. He perfected the no-huddle offense with confidence that overwhelmed even the best teams. Kelly led the team with game-winning touchdown drives with less than two minutes remaining on the clock 13 times, and directed 23 comebacks in the fourth quarter. In 1997, Jim announced his decision to retire from the only team he played for.
Jim and his wife Jill have two daughters, Erin and Camryn. Their first and only son Hunter, who was diagnosed with a fatal disease called Krabbe Leukodystropy. He was laid to rest on August 5, 2005. Jim and his wife started a foundation, so they could make a difference in the lives of children everywhere, and that is exactly what they continue to do. With early detection through newborn screening, children who are born with the disease today, now have a chance at life. The three main objectives of the foundation are to find a cure for Krabbe Disease, increase newborn screening tests to prevent disease, and to love and
care for your children with all your heart. Currently, Jim, resides in Orchard Park, NY the home of the Buffalo Bills. He spends much of his free time at his lodge in Ellicottville, NY and is an avid outdoorsman. Kelly is an NFL Game Analyst for both NBC Sports and ESPN, and also has a Weekly radio show, in which he provides professional feedback on football.
Jim has appeared on TV shows and movies such as General Hospital, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, David Letterman, Oprah Winfrey and Extreme Home Makeover, Necessary Roughness and Scouts Honor. He has been featured in Sports Illustrated, YAHOO!, Sport Magazine, People and Philanthropy World. Served on President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, is a Founding member of the NFL Quarterback Club, and In 2000, he received the Father of the Year Award from National Fatherhood Initiative alongside Tim McGraw.
In His Speaking Engagements:
? Emphasizes the difficulty of overcoming obstacles in the realm of sports, but more importantly in life.
? His passion and charisma allow him to interact with his audience as he recounts his story.
? Conveys truth in his words, and leaves a lingering impression upon the hearts and minds of others.
? His presence emanates a spirit of ambition and aspiration.