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Dick Kelley was confidant to athletic elite
BOSTON —A beloved Boston College employee who served as a confidant to stars Chris Herren and Matt Ryan has lost his battle with ALS.
Dick Kelley, 48, was the school’s longtime athletic director for media relations. He was diagnosed with ALS in September 2011 and lost the use of his arms and legs less than two years later.
When is body started to fail, the school rallied around Kelley, carrying him up and down stairs and providing him housing and rides.
“They have been his life and cared about him in ways that I could never imagine,” Dick’s mother, Ann Kelley, told SI.com.
The school announced Dick Kelley’s death in a tweet Friday.
“RIP to our inspirational alumnus and friend, Dick Kelley of @BCSportsNews, who brought light to so many lives,” the school said.
Last year, he was awarded the US Basketball Writers Association’s Courage Award, during which the crowd gave him a 90-second standing ovation.
Ryan, who plays for the Atlanta Falcons, said Kelley always treated BC’s athletic elite like any other student.
“His big line all the time my last year was, ‘You’re a Boston College graduate, why don’t you sound like it once in a while?'” Ryan told SI.com.
Herren, a former professional basketball player who battled drug addiction, said one of the first calls he made on the anniversary of his first year of sobriety was to Dick Kelley.
“He was the guy calling me into his office when I was struggling on campus and failing drug tests to find out why,” Herren said.