Former MTSU and NFL quarterback Kelly Holcomb added another honor last week to his ever going collection of accolades, a selection to the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
The celebration will take place next May 2013.
You have heard the saying: Nice guys finish last.
For Holcomb, the other side rings true.
Now, Holcomb has transferred his wealth of knowledge from the football field to the broadcast booth.
Throughout his career, Holcomb has always given the credit for his success to the ones that has helped him along the way.
This honor was no different.
“They are just as much a part of it than me,” Holcomb said. “I got to play with a lot of great folks. For me, it is just a humbling experience. I just do not know if it has hit me yet.”
Most local football fans know the story of Holcomb’s career starting at Lincoln County High School, continuing at MTSU, and finishing up a 13-year NFL career in 2008.
Today, is a color commentator on Blue Raider radio broadcasts with the longtime voice of the school, Chip Walters. He also works on the "Thursday Night Lights" high school games on WUXP Channel 30 with Nashville radio talk show host, Kevin Ingram.
Holcomb set several records and won many important games during his playing days in all levels of football.
While at Lincoln County High School, he played football, basketball and baseball. In 1990, he led the Falcons to the TSSAA state football title.
Under former Blue Raider head coach Boots Donnelly’s tutelage and with Holcomb under center, MTSU went 31-16, with an OVC title, and three NCAA playoff appearances. His career finished with 7,064 passing yards, 501 completions and 36 touchdown passes. All three of those marks still rank him in the top five in school history.
In 1995, Holcomb was not selected in the NFL Draft, but he was signed as a free agent by Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Holcomb was cut by the Bucs in the same season. However, the Indianapolis Colts picked up him up in 1996 after spending time in the NFL Europe league.
A few years later, he joined the Cleveland Browns. His most memorable NFL game was during a 2003 Wild Card Playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the loss, Holcomb threw for a NFL Wild Card record 429 yards for the Browns.
After stops in Buffalo, Philadelphia, and Minnesota, Holcomb finished his NFL career in 2008. That same year, he was named to the Blue Raider Hall of Fame.
Today, Holcomb has become a very entertaining broadcaster in the area.
Two of his partners, Ingram and fellow radio talk show host George Plaster, enjoy a great working and personal relationship with Holcomb.
“Kelly brings the experience of a guy who’s been successful at the highest level of football,” Ingram said. “More than that, he’s a regular guy who’s hilarious to be around.”
Plaster, who is host of “Sports Night” on 102.5 The Game, and who has Holcomb on as a regular guest had this to say about his golf buddy in a phone interview last week.
“I was thrilled, Kelly has become a really good friend of mine,” Plaster said. “There is nobody better to play golf with than Kelly. He is a guy that makes me laugh, and I have enjoyed getting to know him.”
On a personal level, Holcomb has been a longtime family friend, especially to my father, stepmother and grandparents.
They have told me stories about how down to earth Holcomb is to them. I got the same feeling from others who know him on a personal basis. This is what makes his selection to the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame so special. It could not happen to a nicer guy.
I even got the same feeling last week while trying to contact him for an interview.
I had no idea Holcomb was on family vacation when I called him to talk about his selection.
He took time out of his vacation to talk with me, and I can not thank him enough for that. It just shows what kind of person he is and what he has meant to the Middle Tennessee area.
Holcomb’s selection into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame just shows nice guys don’t always finish last, sometimes they can finish first.