1969 Arkansas football legend continues to compete in 2012

Mike Kelson, Offensive Tackle for the University of Arkansas, 1969

A brief conversation with one of MultiView’s most tenured sales professionals, Mike “Coach” Kelson, shows just how diverse the sales force can be. Coach Kelson was recruited out of Spring Branch Memorial High School in Houston to play football at the University of Arkansas in 1967. A three year letter winner as an offensive tackle, Kelson played for Arkansas during the Southwest Conference days, a competitive conference similar to today’s Southeastern Conference.

The biggest game he played in while at Arkansas was the “Game of the Century”, the 1969 national championship game. This game pitted the number two ranked Arkansas Razorbacks against the top ranked Texas Longhorns. 1969 marked the 100 year anniversary of college football.

President Nixon was among those in attendance eager to watch the game despite the 40 degree weather. Kelson recalled warming up prior to the game while looking up at snipers who manned the high points of the stadium to ensure the President’s security.

Prior to the opening kickoff, Kelson recalled just how deafening the noise from the Arkansas faithful was as they yelled the traditional “Woo Pig Sooie.” After yelling “Sooie” the noise was so loud it caused the ball which was placed on the tee to fall to the turf. Unfortunately for him and his teammates, Arkansas came up short that day, losing the game to the Longhorns 15 to 14.

Mike Kelson and his sister Karla Kelson, former University of Texas cheerleader. This photo was taken a year after the “Game of the Century.”

Coach Kelson is a living legend among his peers. He conveys a beaming pride when discussing his alma mater that can be seen in his eyes. Teamwork, commitment, and fearlessness learned from his days as an Arkansas Razorback have helped contribute to his successful life after football. He credits Coach Frank Broyles along with assistant coaches Joe Gibbs and Mervin Johnson, for teaching him to take care of the simple things. They taught him to show up on time, do his job, and have fun along the way.

“The battle is either won or lost before it’s ever fought”, said Kelson. He believes in “giving whatever you do in life your best” and that “life is a team sport.” The team mentality at MultiView allows him to relive his playing days.  At 7:30 a.m. sharp, when Coach Kelson sits at his desk, he feels as if he is back on the playing field. The days of putting on football pads and helmets have been replaced with computers and telephones.

Arkansas football taught Coach Kelson a sense of discipline that has carried over to his career as a sales pro. Fellow colleagues admire and respect Coach Kelson for his amazing pride and work ethic. These qualities have fueled Kelson’s career as the most tenured sales professional at MultiView.

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