Chris Kelly joined the Case Western Reserve University cross country team as an assistant coach prior to the start of the 2016 season.
Kelly's efforts with the 2018 team aided in the best finish by the men's squad in 15 years at the NCAA Championships, with the team placing 21st overall at the National Championship meet. The squad also placed fourth at the Great Lakes Region Championships, and saw three of its runners - Trey Razanauskas, David Hall and Zach Roshon - earn all-region honors. On the women's side, Kelly helped Madeline Lindemann earn all-region honors and qualify for an individual berth to the NCAA Championships for the first time in her career. In 2019, the men's team placed 24th at nationals, qualifying for the meet in back-to-back years for the first time since the 1970's. Razanauskas, Robert St. Clair and Yoshmar Pinal-Alfaro each earned all-region honors, while Lindemann earned all-region honors and made the NCAA Championships for the second-straight year.
In his first two seasons with the team, Kelly helped to coach junior Sam Merriman to an All-America finish at the NCAA Championship meet, in addition to All-UAA First Team and All-Region awards each year. On the women's side, under Kelly's tutelage, Danielle Kulpins received both All-UAA Second Team and All-Region honors in 2016, and all-region honors in 2017, while Lindemann earned All-UAA Second Team recognition in 2017.
Kelly returned to coach at his alma mater, where he was a standout competitor for the Spartans. He finished 10th at the UAA Championships his senior year to earn all-conference second team honors, and added a ninth-place finish at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships that season, claiming all-region recognition as well. Kelly was a member of CWRU's national team in 2012 as well, and served as a captain of both the cross country and track and field teams during his senior year.
Kelly graduated from Case Western Reserve in 2013 with a degree in Materials Science and Engineering.