By Dennis Minich
The 2019 class of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame was announced earlier this month, and former Harrisonville football star Kelly Donohoe has been selected for induction. The official ceremony will take place Jan. 27 at the University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center in Springfield.
Donohoe has distinguished himself as a head coach. In his 18 seasons as head coach of Blue Springs High School, his record stands at 210-55 and he has led Blue Springs to seven state championship games with four state titles. His 2001 and 2013 teams both posted undefeated seasons.
In addition to coaching, he is also the athletic director at Blue Springs.
Donohoe said the selection caught him by surprise.
“I got a call from them and thought they were probably asking for a donation, but they said I was being inducted. I thought at first it was a joke because I am not that old. But I am really very proud and very flattered. Coaching for three decades is a long time,” he said.
He graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1986, having lettered in football all four years. His teams went 38-7 from 1982-85 and the Wildcats qualified for the state tournament three of the four seasons.
The 1983 team finished second in the state.
During his high school career, he completed 321 of 591 passes for a 55 percent completion rate. He passed for 4,324 yards and 35 touchdowns.
Donohoe played collegiately at the University of Kansas, where he threw for 5,382 yards and still holds the school record for the longest touchdown pass at 98 yards.
The past few months have found him also facing another challenge as he is undergoing chemotherapy for abdominal cancer.
“I am about halfway through my nine weeks of chemotherapy,” Donohoe said. “When done with the chemo, I hope to get an all-clear. The doctor said this is a treatable cancer, so I am optimistic.
“It is a struggle going through chemo and it does have side effects, like right now I am bald and I guess I will be bald at the induction ceremony, as well.”
Another Cass Countian is also a member of the upcoming Hall of Fame class, former Ray-Pec and MU standout Chase Coffman.
The class also includes some very recognizable names, including former major leaguer Ryan Howard, former Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals’ pitcher Jeff Suppan and former Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Carlos Carson.