Where Are They Now: Suttons Bay’s Traci Kelly
SUTTONS BAY — In the 1990s, Traci (Knudsen) Kelly was a rising star on the track and cross country teams at Suttons Bay High School.
Kelly set multiple school records for the Norsemen including the 400, 800, 1600 and 3200-meter dashes, which still stand today. She was also a three-time state champion in the 400-meter dash in 1993, the 1600-meter dash in 1994 and the 3200-meter dash in 1995.
Kelly amassed a total of 15 All-State honors throughout her high school career.
After graduating from Suttons Bay in 1995, she went on to run cross country and track at Indiana University on a full scholarship.
Kelly returned to northern Michigan after graduating from Indiana and has taught kindergarten and coached track and cross country at Benzie Central for the last 21 years.
“To be honest, racing doesn’t hold a whole lot for me anymore. I’ve been there and I’ve done that. But coaching, it does fill that competitive void a little bit. We don’t play many board games at our house, that gets a little too competitive,” said Kelly.
Kelly and her husband Asa Kelly have built a successful running program at Benzie as co-coaches for both the girls and boys track and field and cross country teams.
Their teams have won 10 state championships and 10 state runner-up titles, along with multiple regional and conference titles, and well over 100 All-State individual awards.
Between both Traci and Asa, they have also won 10 state Coach of the Year awards, and Asa was nominated in 2015 for the National Coach of the Year award for boys cross country.
The Kelly’s now have a daughter of their own, Benzie sophomore Mylie Kelly, who is following in her parents footsteps and recorded several top 10 finishes in track and cross country as a freshman in 2020.