Kell voted into hall of fame
by John Bednarowski
sportseditor@mdjonline.com
October 24, 2013 12:56 AM | 2621 views | 0 0 comments | 54 54 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Corky Kell, a longtime athletic figure in Cobb County, will be inducted into the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame, with the likes of Ted Turner and John Smoltz.
<BR>Photo courtesy of Kell family
Corky Kell, a longtime athletic figure in Cobb County, will be inducted into the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame, with the likes of Ted Turner and John Smoltz.
Photo courtesy of Kell family
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Corky Kell has always been considered a Cobb County treasure.

Now, he’s considered one for the metro-Atlanta area as well.

Kell was among the six revealed Wednesday as the newest members of the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame.

The other inductees include: 1980 Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers, two-time Olympic track and field gold medalist Antonio McKay, Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer Cindy Brogdon and two men with long ties to the Atlanta Braves — former owner Ted Turner and John Smoltz, an eight-time All-Star and the 1996 Cy Young Award winner.

Kell first made his mark at Wheeler High School in the 1970s, coaching football and girls basketball. On the football field, he went 77-25-1, taking the Wildcats to the state semifinals twice and to a state runner-up finish in 1973. Kell also prospered in the gym, leading the girls basketball program to three state runner-up finishes.

Kell, who later served as the athletic director for the Cobb County School District, influenced many of the local coaches who followed him.

His effect on the county was evident as well. Seven years after Kell’s 1995 death, the beloved coach was posthumously honored as the namesake for Kell High School. Wheeler’s football stadium also bears Kell’s name, as does the same facility at Kell High School.

“His gift was vision,” said Jimmy Dorsey, McEachern’s athletic director and its longtime former football coach. “He had a gentle personality. He always seemed to have the right answer in a crisis, and he always gave good advice.

“He was a gentle soul that got a lot of stuff done.”

Kell was one of five founding members of the Georgia Athletic Directors Association, served 14 years on the executive committee of the Georgia High School Association and served as president of the Atlanta Touchdown Club in 1988-89.

He also had the vision for the annual high school football showcase that kicks off the season at the Georgia Dome. Initially known as the Kickoff Classic, the Corky Kell Classic was the first event held in the Georgia Dome when it opened in 1992, and it has since hosted some of the best football talent the state has had over the last 23 years.

“He was very proud of the Classic,” Dorsey said. “Just before he died, he told me, ‘Make sure the Classic continues.’”

It has, and now Kell will forever be celebrated for it.

The Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame’s inductees will be celebrated Feb. 7 at the Buckhead Theatre in Atlanta. All of the inductees will be in attendance, with Kell to be represented by his widow, Carole, and other family members.

Tickets will be available for purchase beginning Nov. 1 at www.atlantasportshalloffame.org. For more information, call Larry Winter at (770) 714-2246 or visit www.facebook.com/atlantasportshalloffame.

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