I have known Kelly Greenberg for many years. I have never had the pleasure of being a teammate of Kelly’s or receiving coaching instruction from her. I have, however, had the privilege of considering her my friend. Words do little to describe the character of Kelly Greenberg. That is because Kelly’s character has been built upon actions; and her actions have erected an iron clad character.
While I have never played with or for Kelly, I have seen her coach young student-athletes over the years. I would echo the sentiments shared by others that Kelly is an excellent coach and role model for young women. On a personal level, Kelly maintains qualities that few consistently demonstrate. In particular, compassion, love and dedication are the qualities that come to mind when thinking of Kelly. I have felt the impact of all three of these qualities and they have changed my life for the better. As I mentioned previously, Kelly’s character is personified through her actions.
After a personal struggle, my mother was preparing to sell her house and multi-acre property. The property needed significant attention and repairs before it could be sold. Hearing of this and without request, Kelly took action. She gathered several friends in the Boston area and drove hundreds of miles to my mother’s house to help with repairs. For two days, Kelly and her friends worked for hours on the property. After they were done, the property was in substantially better condition. When Kelly left my mother’s house, she refused any sort of payment, except for hugs and tears of joy from my mother. Kelly and her friends not only repaired the property, but they brought happiness to my mother during a very difficult period. I can never repay Kelly for her kindness.
Playing collegiate athletics is a demanding and arduous path for a young adult. Having played football at the Division I level, I have experienced the difficulties first-hand. The transition from high school to college can be trying for any student; adding in the pressures and demands of a rigorous athletic schedule can make it seem insurmountable. I know that without the support of my coach, it would have been impossible for me to succeed on or off the field. My success in life must be partially attributed to my coach. Like most athletes, I spent more time with my coach than with any other person during my college years. My coach, of course, took an interest in each player’s athletic performance, but he also took an interest in each individual as a person.
As I read through the support statements from Kelly’s former and current student-athletes, I find two recurring themes. First, the success of her players is astounding. Whether it is the number of advanced degrees held by former players or the numerous personal and professional success stories, all of these student-athletes attribute a portion of their success in life to ‘Coach Greenberg.’ Second, every student-athlete references a strong and positive connection with Kelly that continues after graduation.
It would be naïve of me to postulate that every student-athlete has the same experience and relationship with their coach that Kelly’s supportive student-athletes describe, including other student-athletes that Kelly coached. It is, however, difficult for me not to scrutinize recent allegations regarding Kelly. Aside from my personal experiences with Kelly that demonstrate her selflessness and compassion towards others, there are countless testimonials of players (former and current), parents, staff, administrators, friends and family that echo support for Kelly. I cannot fathom how any person, let alone Kelly Greenberg, could behave on two such opposite ends of the spectrum. At one end, Kelly is described as a strong, supportive, open-door coach that takes the time to develop personal friendships with her players and their families. At the other end, Kelly is recently described as a bully, antagonistic and disinterested in the lives of her student-athletes. I am unable to reconcile how these two accounts can accurately describe one person.
The loyalty, respect and love that Kelly shows to her players cannot be selectively directed. Kelly’s past actions, exhibiting her character, show that she is not capable of such duality. Even now, I firmly believe that Kelly would come to the aid of one of her accusers if that young woman called upon her. Kelly’s compassion, love and dedication to her players’ success are without bounds.
Kelly, I hope that you can feel the love and support that surrounds you. Know that that support is always present. You are the epitome of class and this world would be a better place if there were more people like you.