Tuesday, December 17, 2019
Tucked inside the entrance of the high school gymnasium at James Madison Academic Campus is a sign that identifies what it means to be a student-athlete, a coach, a referee, a fan, and a representative of MPS Athletics.
"At JMAC, we take pride in: Quality Education, Good Customer Service, Meeting our Deadlines, and Working as a Team."
MPS Athletics Commissioner Bobbie Kelsey emphasized that message and clearly outlined her expectations for the upcoming winter season as she met with Madison's student-athletes ahead of the winter season.
In her first year as Commissioner, Kelsey has made it her mission to meet with every high school student-athlete prior to the start of basketball, swimming and diving, cheerleading, and wrestling, visiting each school to clearly highlight her goals and expectations for the players, the coaches, and the fans. She also used the opportunity to underline the importance of education for both maintaining athletic eligibility and succeeding post-high school.
"In the spirit, culture, and history that is MPS Interscholastic Athletics, our two-fold philosophy [around education and competition] will continue to ring true," Kelsey said. "Every decision we make should be predicated on ensuring that students work toward graduating and set a solid foundation for future success."
Kelsey has touched every level of the sporting world throughout her career, advancing from player to coach to broadcaster to administrator; she imparted her years of experience upon the Madison student-athletes in attendance, as she has done at every stop on her route through the MPS high schools.
During her basketball playing career, Kelsey's Stanford Cardinal squad captured the 1992 NCAA Women's Basketball Championship. A two-time co-captain at Stanford, she played in 105 games - earning 15 starts - despite bookending her college career with devastating ACL injuries. Kelsey was named the team's Most Inspirational Player in 1992 and 1996, and captured the Most Improved Player award in 1993.
Following her playing days, Kelsey immediately launched her coaching career, and worked as an assistant coach from 1996-2011 for Boise State, Vanderbilt, Florida, Evansville, Western Carolina, Virginia Tech, and her alma mater Stanford. She eventually landed the head coaching gig with the Wisconsin Badgers, where she spent five seasons.
Since 2016, Kelsey has spent time as the Vice President of Corporate and Wellness Programs for the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, an assistant coach for the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks, and a studio analyst and color commentator for the Big Ten Network.
She is now embracing the MPS Athletics community with seven guiding principles: to listen, to learn, to value fiscal responsibility, to establish positive community relations, to uphold integrity, to emphasize service, and to focus on excellence. By visiting each school, Kelsey has established relationships throughout the community, which should in turn lead to an excellent winter sporting season.