City of BG dedicates ‘Coach’ Rick Kelley Kereiakes Memorial Area
43 year coaching legacy touches generations
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Eyes misted over at the Bowling Green City commissions meeting Tuesday night when Bowling Green City commissioners unanimously approved a municipal order to create a memorial area and name the Bowling Green East Little League Baseball Complex after Rick Kelley, who coached at the league for 43 years.
Kelley’s daughter, Caitlin Davis, who attended the meeting with her family said, “You know, my dad was born and raised in Bowling Green and there is nobody that loves the city more than he did. It was so important to him to see this city grow and prosper. Support from this community has just been incredible. After the loss of my dad, it’s incredible that the city thought so much of him that they would do this. So, it means a lot to our family.”
Kelley’s legacy at the Little League was extraordinary, having taken three teams to the Little League World Series. Kelley’s dedication and passion for coaching made him a beloved figure in the community, especially to the countless young athletes he mentored.
Kelley’s grandson, Lincoln, said, “He teached us how to catch and throw a baseball, and we really loved him… He coached for a lot of years, and he was a nice guy.”
“He was the best Little League coach ever,” added Lincoln’s brother, Walker.
“I hope that [my kids] are able to see the impact that he had on every part of this city, not just in baseball, but just to see this city become what it is today – he had a hand in all of it,” said Davis.
The memorial area at Kereiakes Park dedicated to Kelley will serve as a lasting reminder of his impact on the lives of young athletes in Bowling Green.