Coach Brian Kelly Tours NSICU


Coach poses for picture with Dr. Johannigman and others.

From left: Mike Thomas, John Tew, MD, Brian Kelly, and Jay Johannigman, MD. Photo by Dan Davenport/UC Medical Communications

Leaders of the UC College of Medicine and the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute completed the equivalent of a touchdown pass when they added UC Head Football Coach Brian Kelly to their winning team.

On November 19, Coach Kelly and UC Athletic Director Mike Thomas joined University leaders for lunch at UC’s CARE/Crawley Building and a subsequent tour of the state-of-the-art Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit at University Hospital.

The event was hosted by John M. Tew, M.D., Clinical Director of the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute, David Stern, M.D., Dean of the College of Medicine, and Jay Johannigman, M.D., Chief of the Division of Trauma and Critical Care. Also in attendance were Buck Niehoff, Chairperson of the UC Board of Trustees; UC Trustee Thomas Humes; and Carrie Hayden, a member of the UC Foundation Board of Trustees and the UC Health Advisory Board.

In guiding the UC Bearcats to an unprecedented 12-0 record and a national ranking of No. 4, Coach Kelly has acquired political capital as a spokesman not only for athletics but also for the University’s overall mission. Coach Kelly has accepted this dual role with the same earnestness and humility that have won the hearts of football fans from around the region.

“I need to know about all the assets we have here,” Coach Kelly told the group. “Obviously, the medical community is one of our gems. I welcome this opportunity to learn more about the assets the university has in medicine. This is part of my job and I believe in it.”

Dr. Tew likened the Neuroscience Institute, which has achieved 11 of 12 national neuroscience benchmarks, to Bearcat football. It competes against the best, but with a smaller budget and fewer resources than many of its competitors. “We ask everyone to do more with less,” Dr. Tew said. “We rely heavily on the community to help us raise money, and we constantly reach out to the community. Everyone who is a star here is always sought after by someone else. It’s hard to recruit and retain our stars.”

How can Coach Kelly help UCNI? Trustee Carrie Hayden had this answer: “We have an excellent institution, but we don’t tell enough people how good we are. We’re not good at singing our own song. We hope you’ll help us sing it.”

Coach Kelly seemed eager to oblige. “You found the right guy. A lot of people would say, ‘He’s just a football coach.’ But I am a spokesman for the university.”

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