West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on "Humility"

I was blessed with a mother and father who wanted only the best for their two boys. Because of this parental belief, I had the opportunity to witness "humility" in its most sincere form.

During my junior-high years, Dad sent me to Chesire, Connecticut for a ten-day summer wrestling camp. Some of the finest mat coaches and wrestlers in the country where clinicians. They were outstanding, but I learned just as much from a man we affectionately referred as the "Dean."

This wrestling school was located on the grounds of Chesire Academy, a private school for boys. The man in charge of the dorms during our short stay was the Academy's Dean of Students, Mr. Kelley. He was a fine gentleman with a everlasting sense of humor.

Dean Kelley, who was in his late forties, had just married that spring for the first time. This was quite a gigantic step for him because he was considered by his colleagues to be a 'confirmed bachelor." Forgive me for digressing a bit.

Well, Dean Kelley took a liking to us young matmen and our work ethic. So he and his gracious wife invited two other wrestlers and myself to his home for supper.

It was a great experience. Dean Kelley was quite the storyteller; he kept us enthralled with his tales throughout the entire evening. As we were leaving, I couldn't help but notice the nifty football award on his fireplace mantel.

I asked, "Dean Kelley, where did you get that super football trophy? It's beautiful!"

He responded, "I was captain of my college football team and the award was given to me as a senior. No big deal"

Later I learned from my dad that the statue was a big deal. The humble man we knew as the "Dean" was Yale's first "Heisman Trophy" winner in 1936 -- Mr. Larry Kelley!

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