Frank Kelley was described as a “veritable lightning bolt” by an opposing sports writer. He was the spark plug who ignited the 1926 Jackrabbits to an unbeaten gridiron season. He was the team’s leading scorer and rusher, and gained nationwide fame for his drop kicks. In games against St. Louis University and Hawaii, his kicks accounted for the winning points. He also presented a threat in passing, and during the 1926 season, he either ran, passed or kicked for all of SDSU’s points in NCC play — all from his halfback spot. He was all-conference in 1924 and 1926.
Kelley earned eight letters as a Jackrabbit in football, basketball and track. In track, he broke two world records in 1925, running the 45-yard low hurdles in 5.8 seconds and the 50-yard high hurdles in 6.2 seconds. He won the NCC 120-yard high hurdles in 1926 and ’27, and the 220-yard low hurdles in 1925 and ’27. Following graduation, Kelley joined the world champion New York Giants and played 17 straight games before retiring.