The Mustangs are delighted to announce that Graham Kelly will become Head Coach of the Northumbria Mustangs. In addition, the club can also announce a partnership with local senior league side, Newcastle Vikings. Vikings Head Coach, Ben Johnson, and Vikings Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach, Jonathan Rooney, will also be joining the Mustangs coaching staff, alongside a number of former Mustangs players.
Commenting on his appointment, Coach Kelly said: “I love the Uni game and can’t wait to be involved again. The Mustangs will be working very closely with the Newcastle Vikings and hope to support the holistic development of North East football and have a budget in place to support coaching development for all Mustangs and Vikings.”
Coach Kelly started his involvement with the sport at Loughborough University in 2003 and over the next 10 years continued his playing career with Tamworth Phoenix, Gateshead Senators and DC Presidents. Kelly’s coaching career started across the city at Newcastle Raiders under Ben Johnson. At Newcastle he looked after Tight Ends before making the switch to Quarterbacks in his second year with the team. A change in location took him back to the Midlands and a coaching role with the Loughborough Aces, as Special Teams coordinator. During his time in the midlands he also took up coaching roles at Tamworth Phoenix, initially as the Running Backs Coach. The following year he was appointed Offensive Coordinator and Offensive Line coach in Tamworth’s first year as a premiership side before taking over as Head Coach a year later. A move back to Newcastle saw him once again team up with Johnson at the DC presidents, as the Special Teams Coordinator/WR coach, before joining the Newcastle Vikings the following year as Special Teams coordinator and Defensive Line coach. Coach Kelly has also been part of the Junior Great Britain Lions team as Offensive Coordinator for the past three years.
The synergy of the two clubs is aimed at progressing the game of American Football in the North East by developing coaches and players starting at junior level, right the way through University and into the senior game; this will be achieved through the sharing of playing equipment and facilities as well as the blending of coaching staff.
The Mustangs hope to announce more exciting news over the next couple of months.