Date of Birth: 1955
Place of Birth: St. John’s, NL
Inducted: 2020 (Builder Category)
Don Kelly of Mount Pearl first registered as an on-ice official in 1974, joined the Newfoundland Amateur Hockey Association’s officiating program in 1976 (refereeing in the new Mount Pearl Minor Hockey Association) and continued officiating until 2017.
A Level 5 official, Kelly refereed at all levels of hockey (minor, junior and senior), including the Herder Memorial Trophy finals, and the Air Canada Cup national midget championship staged in St. John’s in 1989.
He became involved in the Hockey NL officiating program at the provincial level when he was appointed an instructor/supervisor for the Avalon region in 1985. He continued to instruct and supervise in the program until 2017.
Kelly was appointed chairman of the provincial rules committee in 1995 and held the job for 10 years. In 2000, he was appointed Supervisor of Officials for the branch.
In 2005, Kelly was elected Referee-in-Chief for Hockey NL, a position he held until 2017.
Some of his major achievements as supervisor of officials was organizing a standard provincial registration program with certified instructors and supervisors and building a registration system with a data base that would track officials by level, region and experience.
Nationally, he was a member of the officiating committees for the 2004 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, 2011 Telus Cup and 2015 Allan Cup. He also served on the Board of Directors of Hockey Canada’s National Officiating Policy Committee.