People around Tennessee know Andy Kelly as the quarterback who led Tennessee to a 1990 SEC Championship and a come-from-behind Sugar Bowl victory over Virginia.
Folks in Rhea County are getting to know him as their State Farm insurance agent.
Kelly became a full-time agent at the beginning of the year, taking over the downtown Dayton office of long-time local agent Felix Wilkey.
It’s a change of pace for the Rhea County native after 15 years quarterbacking Arena Football League teams around the country and a recent stint as “mister mom” for two daughters, six-year-old Abigayle and two-year-old Campbell.
Kelly told his wife Carissa, who he met while playing for the New Orleans Voodoo, that when they moved back to Tennessee he would be able to find a good job quickly while she looked for work in the chemistry field.
As it turned out, Carissa got a job first. She found work at Chattem, and her husband enjoyed his first few years away from the gridiron with his daughters while moonlighting as a sideline analyst for Vol Network radio broadcasts of UT football games.
But when Wilkey approached Kelly to gauge his interest in entering the insurance business, he realized it could be a good fit.
He had to give up his sideline analyst role in 2015 as he spent much of the year training and learning the intricacies of insurance while traveling back and forth between Dayton and State Farm’s Murfreesboro office.
Now his uniform is a red golf shirt with the State Farm logo.
Kelly is afraid of sounding cheesy, but he says his goal in his second career is to give back to the community that supported him through his football career.
“People here have been good to me my whole life, and I want to do the same,” Kelly says. “If I can help them through State Farm, that’s what I want to do.”