South Mountain YMCA welcomes new youth sports dynamic duo

Photo Courtesy of Kate Cestar
YMCA coaches Shaun Hawkins, left, and Jason Kelly are raising the bar in athletics.

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Jason Kelly, aka Coach Kelly, has been named the new director of youth sports and wellness at South Mountain YMCA in Maplewood.

After playing football in college, Kelly pursued his passion for sports and wellness through a career coaching college football, while simultaneously earning his master’s degree in athletic administration from Springfield College.

Kelly later moved into high school sports to have a more compelling impact on the daily lives of young athletes. He coached students in grades six through 12 and established sports programming for the youngest students in pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade grade. During this time, Kelly found his true calling: introducing and developing a love of sports and lifetime wellness for all ages.

Shaun Hawkins, aka Coach Shaun, has been promoted to assistant director of youth and wellness. Hawkins started his career at SOMAPY camp, mentored by coach Dave Berry, and has continued to flourish as a program supervisor in school-age child care, coach to youth sports programs and, most recently, a lead basketball coach for the YMCA’s youth sports and enrichment programming. Recently, Hawkins joined in supporting the East Orange YMCA as the director of youth sports. Hawkins has a bachelor’s degree in physical education with a concentration in coaching from Montclair State University.