Assuming the Mantle: Anthony Lucas replaces Pulaski Academy legend Kevin Kelley

Sports

Record-setting Razorback replaces record-setting coach atop powerhouse program.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Kevin Kelley isn’t only an Arkansas coaching legend. He’s a national high school sports figure.

The head football coach of Little Rock’s Pulaski Academy made famous for his no-punt mentality has won six state championships in the last seven years. He’s been featured by multiple national media outlets, and been admired by six-time Super Bowl champion coach Bill Belichick. Kelley built a class 5A program into the powerhouse from the ground up, winning nine state titles in 18 years and sending numerous athletes to college and to pros. In the process, he’s improved the competition level and recognition of the state’s prep football scene. But as he announced in early May, Kelley moves on to the college ranks as he joins Presbyterian College in South Carolina.

Anthony Lucas, a record-breaking Razorbacks wide receiver who began as an assistant coach with the team in 2012, is resuming Kelley’s duties as head coach. While the hire came as a surprise to the 44-year-old first-year head coach, Lucas has a plan to bring the team back to War Memorial in December as he keeps Kelley’s unorthodox strategies in place.

Nick Walters catches up with the Bruins’ new leader at spring practice to hear about the tall task of filling big shoes, his mindset dismissing the pressure of doing so, his “If it isn’t broke, don’t break it” mentality, and his vision of what the future holds for PA football.

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