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The Journal Gazette

Friday, June 22, 2018 1:00 am

Irish football coach gets Red Coat tonight

Mad Anthonys also giving honor to local car dealership owner

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

The Mad Anthonys are a northeast Indiana institution, an organization of business leaders and professionals that has been raising money for charity since 1957.

Tonight and Saturday, they will be at it again.

Their annual Red Coat dinner 6:30 p.m. today at Fort Wayne Country Club – closed to the public – will honor Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly and local business leader Doug McKibben.

They will receive the Red Coats, the Mad Anthonys' highest honor, that have been previously bestowed upon household sports names such as Bob Knight, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, American heroes such as Neil Armstrong, and local business icons such as Tom Kelley and Chuck Surack.

And at 10 a.m. Saturday, there will be a shotgun golf tournament to support the Mad Anthonys Children's Hope House, which provides lodging and support services for the families of children undergoing pediatric and neonatal treatment. Because Fort Wayne has become a health care hub for all of northern Indiana, southern Michigan and western Ohio, this function is critical to the families of children with severe illnesses and conditions, according to the Mad Anthonys.

Last year, the Mad Anthonys raised approximately $150,000 through their Red Coat dinner and charity golf event. All-time, the organization has raised more than $5 million.

“Doug has been a successful business leader and an important part of the Mad Anthonys for many years, and his contributions as an employer, volunteer and leader have had a tremendously positive impact on our community,” said Mike Wallace, president of the Mad Anthonys. “At the same time, coach Kelly has more than proven himself as a coach, leader, father and husband – and his commitment to community support and helping those in need reflects our values at Mad Anthonys perfectly.”

McKibben opened Glenbrook Dodge in 1978 and that would eventually become the Glenbrook Automotive Group, one of the largest dealership groups in northern Indiana, with nine new-car dealerships and hundreds of employees. McKibben is a past president of the New Car Dealers Association of Indiana.

McKibben has long been a supporter of youth sports in northeast Indiana, including helping found the Lifetime Sports Academy, which teaches kids golf, tennis and to swim, free of charge.

He's been a longtime supporter of athletic programs for both Saint Francis and IPFW, which is transitioning to Purdue Fort Wayne, and a member of the Mad Anthonys for almost 30 years.

Kelly has a 59-37 record in his seven seasons at Notre Dame. He's also the winningest active coach in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision,

Kelly was the first coach to take Notre Dame to a bowl game in each of his first six years at the helm.

The Mad Anthonys are passionate about his philanthropic efforts, too. Kelly and his wife, Pacqui, a breast-cancer survivor, founded the Brian Kelly Family Foundation. Renamed the Kelly Cares Foundation in 2009, the organization has raised and donated more than $4 million to causes aligned with the foundation's vision and mission of support for organizations focused on health, education and community needs.

jcohn@jg.net