Kelly Kidd put great care into every aspect of his football program, and the results showed on Friday nights with how successful his teams were. His precise level of attention applied even to the field itself — which he worked to maintain throughout his entire career.
He admits he doesn’t delegate responsibility well, but that’s not why he ended up in charge of mowing the grass and painting the lines.
When he was a student at Declo High School, Kidd and some other players on his team were assigned the task. Returning to the school as an assistant coach, he continued the chore. Ultimately, as head coach, he never got around to giving the job to someone else and kept at it for the next 23 years.
Kidd made sure the field stayed watered during the week. He mowed the grass every Friday to ensure it was short enough for the game and followed up by painting the yard lines and the numbers between them. He took pride in making the playing surface as professional as possible, no matter what the weather was like.
In 1991, eight inches of snow fell before a home playoff game. Kidd had to clear the field the night before the game, then fulfill his coaching duties by preparing the team to play the next day.
Part of the joy of Friday afternoons was working the field with his own hands, then sitting back in satisfaction with the job done to wait for kickoff.
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Preparing the field was so meaningful to Kidd as a coach that he said he’s going to let someone else do it now that he’s retired.
“That was special to me, and it needs to be special to somebody else,” Kidd said.
Now that he’s off the field, he can direct his attention to projects around the house. He recently painted his porch and he can dedicate more time to the graphic design and embroidery business he and his wife run out of their garage.
While still employed full time, the couple often had to stay up late at night to finish their work and fill orders on time, especially over the past four years, when Kidd’s position as athletic director required him to work late at school. With those days gone, they can now work on their own terms.
“In some ways, I’ve become more soft, but in other ways, I’ve become more hard and competitive,” Kidd said. “I want to go out there and develop this business so I don’t have to have a used snowmobile, I can have a new one. I don’t have to have a used pickup, I can have a new one.”