Kelsey displays “Altiora”


The last time Elder basketball won a state title was in 1993. They were led by senior point guard Pat Kelsey. But for the past four years Kelsey has led a different team, the Winthrop University Eagles.

Pat’s basketball career has its roots at Elder. He led the Panthers to the State Championship, a 25-4 record, and also was an All-City selection. After graduating he went to Wyoming where he started as a freshman, but then transferred back to Xavier University for his final three years. At Xavier he was the captain of the team and helped them reach two NCAA Tournaments.

Kelsey had this to say about Elder. “Being an Elder grad is one of the things I am most proud of in my life. What makes it great are the people. The amazing teachers that have devoted their lives to shaping the lives of the young men that walk the halls.” When asked out about his favorite part of being a student at Elder he said Purple Fridays and pep rallies.

He also started his coaching career with the Panthers as the freshmen coach from 1999-2001, where he won a GCL Championship. After Elder he went to Winston-Salem as an assistant coach for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons for eight years. Then he went to his alma mater, Xavier where he was the associate head coach. He has worked under both Skip Prosser and Chris Mack. During his time as an assistant coach he was considered one of the top in the country as well as a superb recruiter. Some big names that he recruited include Al-Farouq Aminu, Ishmael Smith, and James Johnson all whom are currently in the NBA. He was also responsible for getting Dez Wells to Xavier before he transferred to Maryland.

In March 2012, Kelsey was hired as the head coach for the Winthrop University Eagles located in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The team achieved almost immediate success making it to the conference championship game in both his second and third year at the school, unfortunately they lost both. Kelsey said, “The vision and leadership shown by Mr. Otten inspires me to lead in a similar way within our basketball program here at Winthrop.” This year they are starting off strong again, currently sitting at 6-2 with the only losses coming to NC State and Georgia. This record is good enough to put the Eagles second in the Big South Conference.

If you think you know the name Pat Kelsey, you’re probably right. In 2012 after his Eagles lost to the #4 Ohio State Buckeyes at the time, he called for society to change because of the recent shootings at Sandy Hook. It gained much national attention and said what many people were saying in the privacy of their homes, but he did it on a national level.

Coach Kelsey is the only active Division I head coach to graduate from Elder. Here we live by the motto “Altiora” which is Latin for “strive for the higher things,” and it is obvious that Kelsey has lived up to this saying.