Jim Kelly (born February 14, 1960 in Pittsburgh) was an American football quarterback for the Buffalo Bills. He grew up in the small Western Pennsylvania town of East Brady, Pennsylvania. Kelly is generally considered one of the elite quarterbacks in the history of the National Football League.
Kelly led the Bills to four consecutive Super Bowls in 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994. In 2002, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Kelly holds the all-time NFL record for most yards gained per completion in a single game (44), established on September 10, 1995 in the Bills' game against the Carolina Panthers.
Kelly was perhaps best known for running the Bills' "No-Huddle Offense", which was a fast-paced offense that denied opposing defenses the opportunity to make timely substitutions. This led to mismatches and defensive communication breakdowns and, in the 1990s, established the Bills as one of the NFL's most successful and dangerous offenses.
Drafted by the Bills out of the University of Miami, where Kelly's teams were among the best NCAA programs nationally, he opted instead to join the fledgling United States Football League (USFL), where he played for the Houston Gamblers. Kelly was among the USFL's best passers, but the league folded due to financial troubles and its players were subsequently dispersed among existing NFL teams. Having retained Kelly's draft rights, the Bills welcomed Kelly with open arms upon the USFL's collapse.
Kelly helped lead the Bills to emergence as one of the NFL's greatest teams of the 1990s. Kelly's primary wide receiver with the Bills, Andre Reed, also set numerous NFL records and is expected to enter the Hall of Fame following his eligibility for induction in 2006.
Kelly devoted much of his post-football life to his son, Hunter, who was diagnosed with Krabbe Leukodystrophy (Krabbe disease) and died because of it on August 5, 2005 at the age of eight. Kelly established an organization, Hunter's Hope, to raise funds to fight the disease. His advocacy on behalf of Krabbes' patients has vastly increased national awareness of the disease. Kelly and his wife, Jill, founded the annual Hunter's Day of Hope, which is held every year on February 14, which is the birthday of both Jim and Hunter Kelly.
Kelly continues to reside in Orchard Park, New York, with his wife and children.