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President of Student-Athlete Advisory Committee
Louisiana State University
President of the Advisory Council
Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon
A History of Excellence | Orlando Metro Gymnastics
2002 Kelly Phelan Louisiana State University
LSU Tiger Athletic Foundation
Phelan Named Coca-Cola Community All-American
Phelan Named Coca-Cola Community All-American LSU gymnast Kelly Phelan was named a Coca-Cola Community All-American the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) has announced. Phelan, who serves as the president of LSU's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, has been instrumental in spearheading LSU's community service projects this year. To date, Phelan has participated in National Adoption Month, the Baton Rouge area's Race for the Cure and River Oak Elementary's Literacy Night. She has also served as a volunteer at the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, the Louisiana Gumbo Games and ZTA Pancake Breakfast, a fundraiser supporting breast cancer awareness. Photo: LSU's Kelly Phelan (center) (courtsey of LSUsports.net)
LSU Tiger Athletic Foundation
Kelly Phelan: The All-Around Student Athlete
Kelly Phelan: The All-Around Student Athlete A 10-year-old Kelly Phelan was rollerblading with two of her sisters in her Orlando neighborhood when she noticed a woman painting a new building. The three young siblings were intrigued by the new attraction and asked the lady what the building was going to be. The woman told them it was a gym for gymnastics. The Phelan sisters didn't know much about gymnastics but knew they wanted to get involved. That interest transcended into competitive careers that kept the trio active through high school. After high school graduation, Kelly stuck with gymnastics while Meghan and Melissa went on to cheerleading. Kelly says she loves gymnastics because it always challenges her. "Gymnastics is so challenging and everyday you deal with something new," she said. "I was always an active kid, so I always wanted to try everything with gymnastics. I was never content with what I could do; there was always something I could improve or something else I could learn. The never ending challenge is what drew me to it." Now in her senior year at LSU, Kelly is ranked nationally in many categories, including the all-around (No. 5), floor (No. 11) and vault (No. 9) and is hoping to make her last year as a gymnast a memorable one. Family Bond Phelan grew up in a family of seven, five sisters and her mother. Two of her sisters, Jenny and Erin, were older and had already graduated high school and moved on with their careers. Kelly, Meghan, Melissa and Shauna spent a lot of time together. Kelly hopes to have the same big family atmosphere when she is older. "It was interesting having five girls in the house because we were very close but sometimes there was tension," Phelan said. "I loved growing up in a big family and it made me want to have a big family one day." Phelan's bond with her family did not prevent her from looking out of state for college. Along with the University of Florida, Phelan was recruited by Penn State, LSU and UCLA. The Orlando native said she wanted to go somewhere that she would have not have had the opportunity to go to had it not been for a scholarship. Additionally, Phelan wanted to go in the most competitive conference, which she believed was the SEC. LSU fit the billing. "A lot of people asked me why I didn't go to Florida, but I just thought for the next four years of my life I wanted to go somewhere new and have some great experiences. LSU is a great program and the coaches were very nice," said Phelan on her decision. What sealed the deal for Phelan was when she took her recruiting trip to Baton Rouge. Phelan realized being a Tiger would satisfy her desire to do well in school and to be a part of a family atmosphere. "When I went on my recruiting trip, I went to a football game and I was just in awe," she said. "The fans and the environment were amazing. I really clicked with the girls on the team. Also, when I visited LSU they had just built the Cox Communications Academic Center which I was also excited about." Life as a Tiger When Phelan arrived at LSU in the Fall of 2003, she wasn't the only highly touted underclassman on the Tigers' roster. Sophomore April Burkholder had been named the SEC Freshman of the Year the previous season and would eventually go on to be the most decorated gymnast in school history. Phelan said talented teammates like Burkholder challenged her and made her a better competitor. Phelan's hard work was showcased her sophomore year when LSU faced Arkansas. The Orlando native captured the first all-around title of her career en route to helping the Tigers to a victory over the Gym'Backs. Phelan said she never thought she would get an all-around title with Burkholder as her teammate. "With April on the team, I never thought I would get an all-around title," Phelan said. "I was just glad I had a high enough score to help my team win. It was exciting to win because not only are you competing against the opponents but also your teammates." Burkholder graduated last year, leaving a void in the leadership role on the team. Phelan said growing up in a big family helped her ease into a leadership role this season. Phelan has expanded her leadership role by also reaching out to other student-athletes. She is the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC). SAAC meets twice a month to discuss different events coming up in college athletics. Along with SAAC, Phelan has volunteered with numerous community service programs including the Big Buddy Program and National Adoption Day. "Community service is something you have to be passionate about and it is really rewarding to me," Phelan said. "People are very gracious around the community and there are numerous opportunities to volunteer." The NCAA has been running a campaign the past two years to remind the public that most student-athletes go into something other than their sport upon graduation. Phelan said she understands the chances of getting to the Olympics are small, which is why she has the same competitive drive in the classroom that she has in the gym. "For most college athletes, after you graduate you go onto something other than your sport," she commented. Along with athletic accolades, Phelan has received numerous academic awards. The Orlando native has been named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll the past two years and most notably received Academic All-American honors last year. The two-time SEC Honor Roll member plans to go into pharmaceutical sales when she graduates. With her tenure at LSU almost over, Phelan said the thing she will miss most is her teammates. She said even though they won't be competing together anymore, her fellow Tigers will continue to be a big part of her life. "It is not definite, but I don't think I am going to be staying in Louisiana after I graduate," Phelan said.
Terin Martinjak, LSU; Julie Dwyer, AU; Kelly Phelan, LSU; Brittany Magee, UA; Kelly Phelan, Psychology Kelly Phelan Psychology
Auburn Gymnastics Academy
Kelly Phelan, LSU