MOULTRIE -- Tim Kelshaw is in his eighth stop in a football coaching career that began in 1981.
And although he is not back where he started, he has returned to where he had his most enjoyable stay.
Kelshaw, who has joined the Colquitt County High ninth-grade staff this season, was a Packers varsity assistant coach from 1983-1991 and helped develop such outstanding quarterbacks as Darrell Funderburk, James Lee, Ben Wiggins, Bucky Goff and Parks Hughes.
And while he has also made stops in Bainbridge, Thomasville, Worth County, Fitzgerald, Cairo and Tift County, his most memorable years were in Moultrie.
"Easily the highlight of my coaching career were the years I spent here," Kelshaw said Tuesday before practice.
"The coaching staff got along well. And we had a good time."
And Packers had just one losing season - a 4-6 record in 1983 - over that span.
Kelshaw, a quarterback at Westover High in Albany, graduated from Georgia Southwestern and began his high school coaching career in Bainbridge in 1981. The next year, he joined Jim Hughes's staff in Thomasville.
In 1983, Hughes took over the Colquitt County High program and Kelshaw moved north along with Neil Roberts and Brent Brock as part of that staff.
The Packers went 62-39-2 from 1983-1991 and played for the state championship in 1991.
And while Brent Brock was in charge of the offense, Kelshaw worked closely with the quarterbacks.
Funderburk, Lee, Wiggins and Hughes went on to play football at the college level. Goff played baseball at Mercer.
All had outstanding high school careers.
"We changed a little over the years, depending on who was under center," Kelshaw said. "We geared our offense to the strength of our quarterback.We didn't ask them to do things they weren't capable of doing."
One of his most vivid memories of his time on the Colquitt County staff involved a pass thrown by Parks Hughes, his final Packers protege.
It came in the 1991 state semifinal game in Marietta.
Trailing 17-14, the Packers had marched to the Marietta 2-yard line with seven seconds remaining in overtime.
A field goal would not have helped, with the Packers trailing on overtime penetration.
Colquitt needed a touchdown to advance to the state championship game the following week.
Brock called the play and Hughes faked to fullback Nathan Williams and calmly flipped a pass to Sharone Roberts in the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.
"They were looking for Nathan," Kelshaw remembers. "Sharone and Lee Brooks were both wide open."
The Packers lost 15-14 to LaGrange the following week on a late field goal and after the season Brock was named head coach at Worth County.
Kelshaw joined him and after four years in Sylvester, he followed Brock to Fitzgerald, where they spent another four together.
When Brock left Fitzgerald, Kelshaw spent a year as an assistant on a Cairo team that advanced to the state semifinals.
But with a young family, he was looking to coach at the sub-varsity level and contacted Tommy Seward when Seward took the Tift County job in 2001.
Seward offered the varsity offensive line position, and after much thought, Kelshaw accepted. He had never coached the line before.
"It was a nice challenge," he said. "And it helped me a lot as far as understanding the whole offense."
The Blue Devils were not particularly successful during Kelshaw's tenure, but Tift County did score one big victory against his former school.
In the final game of the 2002 season, Tift County rallied in the second half to defeat Colquitt County 35-28 and knock the Packers out of the playoffs and put the Blue Devils in.
"Nobody gave us much of a chance," he said of the game. "And, of course, our quarterback (Josh Allen) played lights out."
But Kelshaw has been living in Colquitt County the last three years and was hopeful of returning to Moultrie.
Working with the ninth-grade team does not require the number of hours as a varsity position does and that is just fine with him.
"I've got two little girls that I need to spend a lot of time with," he said.
Kelshaw and wife Tracey, a former Colquitt County High cheerleader, are the parents of Lauren, 10, and Reagan, 7. Tracey teaches family and consumer sciences at Cairo High.
So Kelshaw is teaching physical education at Stringfellow Elementary and also tries to develop the next Funderburk or Lee or Wiggins or Goff or Hughes.
One of his current pupils is ninth-grader Tyler Hancock.
"He shows a lot of potential," Kelshaw said. "He's got a great attitude and he has all the physical tools.
"I think he can be a good one."
This Week's Circulars
MOULTRIE - Mr. David Ford, 60, was born April 14, 1961, in Colquitt County, Georgia. He departed this life on Sunday, August 1, 2021, at Colquitt Regional Medical Center. Graveside services will be held 11:00 AM, Saturday, August 7, 2021, at Strong Memorial Gardens in Moultrie, Georgia. Publ…
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Susan Grindle, 65, of Jacksonville, Florida, passed away Wednesday, July 28, 2021, at St. Vincents Riverside. Arrangements have been entrusted to Baker Funeral Home.
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