Winthrop University head basketball coach Pat Kelsey is making headlines across America after unleashing an impassioned post-game speech about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. During his emotional appeal, Kelsey implored President Barack Obama and other leaders to stand up and take action to prevent future violence and loss. This morning, he appeared on Blaze radio with host Joe Pags to discuss his noteworthy reaction.
Pags, who is filling in for Glenn Beck, asked the coach to describe what led to his epic commentary that has now gone viral. Kelsey responded by recalling how he first heard the news on Friday about the Connecticut school shooting, noting that it instantly made him sick to his stomach and stopped him in his tracks.
Pat Kelsey speaks to fans as he is introduced as the new Winthrop men's basketball coach during an news conference at the Winthrop Coliseum in Rock Hill, S.C. on Thursday, April 5, 2012. Credit: AP
"In our society it seems like...you're almost numb to some of these crazy things that happen," he said.
However, the fact that children were involved separated this incident from others, making Kelsey so physically ill that he "almost threw up." The Winthrop coach said that, like many other national tragedies, the Sandy Hook massacre is something that he will "never, ever forget."
As he prepared for the games that came just days after the shooting, he described doing so with a heavy heart, noting that the rampage felt personal (Kelsey has two children of his own -- a four and a five-year-old).
COLUMBUS, OH - DECEMBER 18: Head Coach Pat Kelsey of the Winthrop Eagles shouts instructions to his team in the first half against the Ohio State Buckeyes on December 18, 2012 at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Winthrop 65-55. Credit: Getty Images
After speaking about the game at the now-infamous press conference following his team's loss, he was asked if he had anything else to say. It was at that moment that his epic commentary was unleashed.
"I don't know if it was divine intervention, because I'm definitely not that eloquent of a speaker," he said. "And I'm not trying to pat myself on the back...but something spoke through me..."
He called America the "greatest country in the history of civilization" and said that he hopes that society adapts to continue making this notion a reality. As for President Obama, while he didn't vote for him, Kelsey said that he is the leader of the nation who can tackle this issue.
As for how adults can assist young people, the coach said that following Jesus' lead will help sway young people in the right direction. Listen to his interview, below: