OFFICIAL: Kelly named Assistant Basketball Coach at Northern Illinois

Following-up on something that I mentioned back on 7/20 (JUCO DIRT). Drew Kelly’s hiring at Northern Illinois is now official. Here’s the RELEASE from NIU:

Northern Illinois University men’s basketball head coach Rashon Burno announced the addition of Drew Kelly to the Huskie staff as an assistant coach. Kelly comes to NIU following 17 seasons as the head coach at Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, Pa. 

“I thought it was very important to get someone like Coach Kelly who has won at a high level,” said Burno. “He has a wealth of experience in junior college, he is a really good person and I think he brings great intangibles to the staff, balancing it with Coach (Drew) Gladstone and Coach (Shane) Southwell. He did a phenomenal job at Harcum building them into one of the most prominent junior colleges in the country.”

During his 17 years at Harcum, Kelly complied a 429-102 (.808) record, including going 32-3 during the 2021-22 season. Kelly was also Harcum’s Director of Athletics for the last 17 years.  

“Coach Burno has quickly instilled a strong culture in the program at NIU and it is a great privilege for me to be a part of that,” said Kelly. “I am very excited and thankful to be joining the coaching staff and the NIU family.”

Kelly started the Harcum College basketball program from scratch as its first head coach beginning in 2005, leading the Bears to five top-10 national finishes, including two top-five finishes. Harcum won 20 games in each of Kelly’s 17 seasons in charge, with the exception of the COVID-shorted 2020-21 campaign when the Bears posted a 17-1 mark. 

During the 2021-22 season, Harcum finished with 32 victories and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NJCAA Division I Tournament in Hutchinson, Kan. The 32 wins last season tied the school record previously set in 2013-14 when the Bears reached the NJCAA Division I Final Four and had five players sign with NCAA Division I programs. Harcum also reached the NJCAA Division I National Tournament in 2015-16. 

In 2009-10, Harcum won 25 consecutive games and reached number one in the NJCAA Division I poll for the first time in program history, becoming the first team from Region XIX to top the poll since 1974. Six players from the Harcum Class of 2021 signed with NCAA Division I programs. 

In his 17 years leading the Harcum program, Kelly had 46 players go on to play at the NCAA Division I level. 

Prior to his time at Harcum, Kelly was the head coach at Bucks County Community College in Newtown, Pa., from 2002-04. Kelly began his coaching career as an assistant at Haverford College in Haverford, Pa., from 1997-2000. He then moved on to The College of New Jersey, where he worked as an assistant from 2000-02. 

Kelly graduated from Villanova University in 1997, where he was a student assistant with the men’s basketball program under head coach Steve Lappas. 

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