Laurie Kelly


Head Women's Basketball Coach and Health Promotion Coordinator in Athletics

Laurie Kelly will begin her second season as the head coach of the Gustavus women’s basketball team in 2013-14.  Kelly, a 1993 graduate of the University of St. Thomas with a major in speech communications, replaces Mickey Haller, who resigned in March after serving as the head coach for 12 years.  Kelly comes to Gustavus from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, where she has directed the Division I Lumberjacks for nine seasons.

Under Kelly’s direction, the  2012-13 Gusties went 14-8 in the MIAC, finishing sixth in the conference standings.  In the team’s 13th appearance in the MIAC Playoffs, Gustavus was eliminated in the first round by Saint Mary’s 76-69.  The Gusties finished 15-11 overall, reaching the 15-win mark for the eighth consecutive season.  Senior Abby Rothenbuehler (North Mankato, Minn.) and first-year Karina Schroeder (Lake Crystal, Minn.) were featured in the MIAC’s Post-Season Awards.  Rothenbuehler earned a spot on the All-Conference Team, while Schroeder was placed on the All-Rookie Team.  Rothenbuehler scored a career-best 327 points to lead Gustavus with a 12.6 points per game scoring average.  She shot 48.3-percent from the field and brought down a total of 213 rebounds (8.2 rpg).  Rothenbuehler finishes her career the program’s all-time leader in blocked shots with 121. A Rochester, Minnesota, native, Kelly made a quick ascent through the Division II and I coaching ranks after a record setting Division III playing career at the University of St. Thomas in the early `90s.  In the past nine years at Northern Arizona, she has compiled the most wins in the program’s history (117), while also directing the team to its first-ever Big Sky Conference tournament title and NCAA tournament bid in the 2005-06 season.  During Kelly’s tenure, the Lumberjacks advanced to the Big Sky tournament six times with two appearances in the championship game (2006, 2007), and her teams have registered two of the three 20-win seasons in the program’s history.

In addition to quality on the floor, her squads have also been strong in the classroom, with four players earning CoSIDA Academic All-District honors including one Academic All-American.  The Lumberjacks were recognized in the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Top 25 Academic Honor Roll six times, with two Top Ten national rankings.  Following the 2012-13 season, the Gustavus women’s basketball team achieved a significant milestone when the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced its Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll following the year.  Making their 15th appearance on the NCAA Division III honor roll, the Gusties were recognized as the team with the top cumulative grade point average in country at a 3.600 – a first in the program’s history.

Prior to her position at Northern Arizona, Kelly coached at Binghamton University in New York and built the Bearcats into one of the top Division II programs in the country before helping the institution transition to a Division I program in 2001-02.  In that first year of Division I competition, Kelly directed the team to a 19-9 record and a second-place finish in the America East Conference. During her five years at Binghamton, Kelly compiled a record of 94-22, including a mark of 75-13 in the program’s final three years at the Division II level, and her squads won New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) titles in 1999 and 2000 and Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) titles in 2000 and 2001.  She was named ECAC Coach of the Year in 2000 and New York State Coach of the Year in 2002.  Kelly started her collegiate coaching career as the graduate assistant coach at Minnesota State University, Mankato from 1996 to 1998.  While she was at Minnesota State, Mankato she earned a master’s degree in physical education with an emphasis in sports administration.

Before her success in the coaching ranks, Laurie Trow Kelly was a standout player at the University of St. Thomas from 1989 to 1993 and is recognized by many as one of the greatest players in NCAA Division III history. A gifted athlete, the 6-1 Kelly scored 2,607 points and pulled down 1,204 rebounds in four years, earning Kodak All-America honors three consecutive seasons. In her senior season (1992-93), Kelly was voted National Player of the Year by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association after averaging more than 26 points per game. She set 22 conference and 24 school records, was conference MVP three times and was also named Midwest Sports Channel NCAA Division III Women’s Athlete of the Year.  In January of 2006, Kelly was one of five players selected to the NCAA Division III 25th Anniversary Team.

Laurie Kelly is the ninth head coach in the 44-year history of the Gustavus women’s basketball program.  The Gusties have compiled an all-time record of 618-422 (.594), winning two Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships and making five NCAA tournament appearances.

In addition to her coaching duties, Kelly will serve as the coordinator of the Gustavus Health Promotion program (GHP).  The Gustavus Health Promotion program offers employees at Gustavus a variety of educational opportunities, assessment tools, and physical activity experiences so that they can achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Kelly lives in St. Peter with and her husband, Matt, and their two daughters, Morgan (10) and Madison (8).

Courses Taught


HES-255 (Women's Basketball Practicum)

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
HES-177Women's Basketball62015/SP, 2014/SP, and 2013/SP
HES-255Women's Basketball Practicum52015/SP, 2014/FA, 2014/SP, 2013/FA, and 2013/SP