February 2018

Issue link: http://catalog.e-digitaleditions.com/i/935355

Contents of this Issue


Page 174 of 174

175 M olly Kelly lives her dream each day as a volleyball student-athlete at the University of Iowa. She is comfortable using that platform to challenge those around her. Kelly shared her experiences as a Hawkeye on Jan. 24 at a University of Iowa all-staff meeting inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. en she asked coaches and staff to make an effort to know as many of the 650 current Hawkeye student-athletes as possible. "Liz (Tovar, associate athletics director for student- athlete academic services) told me last summer that the No. 1 thing reported in the end-of-year student-athlete surveys is that athletes wish their coaches knew them better as people," Kelly said. "e reason I want to share that is because the No. 1 thing athletics has taught me throughout life is the importance of the people around you and the impact they can have, whether it is a professor or coach, who is a mentor, or a teammate who is a new best friend." Kelly, a junior from West Liberty, Iowa, played in 109 sets for the Hawkeyes in 2017. e defensive specialist made 189 digs, 45 assists, and 15 ace serves. Iowa finished the season 18-15. Since she grew up 30 minutes from Iowa's campus, prior to attending classes, Kelly was no stranger with how the Iowa City community was intertwined with the university. She also knew that family living nearby would surround her. "Something I didn't know coming in is the importance of the people in Iowa athletics," Kelly said. "at includes my teammates." Gary Barta, the Henry B. and Patricia B. Tippie Director of Athletics Chair, said Kelly comes from a Hawkeye family "through and through." Mitch Kelly, Molly's father, is a clinical associate professor at the University of Iowa. A cousin is Nicholas Baer, who the evening before, scored five points and grabbed three rebounds during Iowa's 85-67 men's basketball win over Wisconsin in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. "My family is rooted in Iowa," Kelly said. "Both parents went here, both my siblings went here, I have eight cousins that go here, and my younger brother (Joe) is committed here to wrestle next year." Kelly is majoring in international studies, religious studies, and Spanish. Before enrolling at Iowa, she said she completed a form that asked for her political and religious beliefs, among other topics. "I didn't realize I would be playing with girls from around the country who are extremely different than me on paper," Kelly said. "I am polar opposite from many of the people I have learned to love and grind with every single day. For that I am grateful." Kelly reiterated to Iowa's athletic coaches and staff that athletics is physically, mentally, and emotionally brutal. Not only to the athletes, but to coaches and staff as well. "Everyone in this room knows that athletics in general isn't full of rainbows and butterflies," Kelly said. "Whether that is the power of a win or a loss or whether that is the day-to-day grind." en Kelly closed with her challenge: "Remember that you have this role and this opportunity to help your co-workers, to inspire them, inspire your employers, but also to inspire the student-body and the student-athletes," she said.

Articles in this issue

view archives of HAWK TALK - February 2018