Bishop Kelley High School

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Bishop Kelley High School
Bishop Kelley High School - 01 - Entranceway Sign.jpg
3905 South Hudson Avenue
Midtown Tulsa
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74135-5699
United States
Coordinates 36°6′20″N 95°54′37″W / 36.10556°N 95.91028°W / 36.10556; -95.91028Coordinates: 36°6′20″N 95°54′37″W / 36.10556°N 95.91028°W / 36.10556; -95.91028
Type Private, coeducational, Lasallian
Motto "Turris Fortis Mihi Deus"
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1960 (Successor to schools established as early as 1899)
Oversight Diocese of Tulsa
Superintendent Jim Pohlman
President Michael Pynn
Head of school Rev. Brian O'Brien
President Rev. Brian O'Brien
Chaplain Fr. Bryan Ketterer
Grades 912
Enrollment 905 (2017)
Average class size 18[1]
Campus Urban
Color(s) Red and white         
Athletics OSSAA
Mascot The Comet
Team name Comets
Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools [2]
Average SAT scores 1137[1]
Average ACT scores 24[1]
Newspaper Breezeway
Yearbook Crest
Alumni c. 8,000
Athletic Director Lance Parks

Bishop Kelley High School is an American Lasallian Catholic high school with 905 students, grades 9 to 12, located at 41st and Hudson Avenue, in the center of the Tulsa metropolitan area (in the Midtown area), on a campus spanning just over 47 acres (150,000 m²).[1] The school is a function of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tulsa and operates in the Lasallian tradition of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (Christian Brothers or the French Christian Brothers).

Kelley is a comprehensive secondary school with a curriculum that is college preparatory with classes to fit a variety of learning abilities and interests. Bishop Kelley come from 53 different zip codes and BK freshmen come from more than 30 middle schools in northeast Oklahoma. Students come from a variety of faith and educational backgrounds. They are welcomed with extensive freshman orientation activities. Transfer students are also welcome. Bishop Kelley is the only diocesan Catholic high school in the Diocese of Tulsa.

Bishop Kelley serves Catholic and non-Catholic families of all faiths in Tulsa and the surrounding communities who seek a life preparatory program within a Christian environment.


Bishop Kelley established in 1960 to serve as Tulsa's citywide Catholic high school; at the time of its founding, its forerunners Holy Family High School (founded 1899) and Marquette High School (founded in 1926) closed and consolidated their student bodies at the new school. While the initial plans for the new school were developed under Bishop Eugene J. McGuinness' leadership, it was the pioneering Bishop Victor Joseph Reed who oversaw its founding.[3] Bishop Reed was a famous Catholic reformer who attended all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council, where he was associated with the more progressive bishops and lent his support to the use of vernacular in the Mass and to an emphasis of pastoral over administrative skills in bishops.[4] Bishop Reed is in part responsible for the high school's legacy of lay leadership. In 1960, the year Bishop Kelley High School was founded, Bishop Reed established the first mixed (clerical and lay) diocesan board of education in the United States.[4]

The school was named for Bishop Francis Kelley, the second bishop of Oklahoma. The founder of the Catholic Church Extension Society, Bishop Kelley was an accomplished author and diplomat, whom H.L. Mencken described as "a charming Irishman" who "has had a brilliant career in the Church."[5] He famously partnered with California oilman Edward L. Doheny to support Catholic philanthropy.[6]

At its founding, male students were taught by the LaSallian (French) Christian Brothers, who still teach at the school, while the Sisters of Divine Providence from San Antonio, Texas taught the female students. By 1965, the school had become entirely coeducational. By 1982, the Sisters of Divine Providence had been reassigned to other ministries.


Co-curricular opportunities include Academic Bowl, Christian Service, Class Board, Comet Ambassadors, Competitive One-Act, Drama, Drumline, Environmental Club, FCA, Foreign Language Clubs,3 on 3, Jazz Choir, Kairos, Kelley Krazies (a spirit organization), Link Crew (dedicated to mentoring freshmen), Lasallian Youth, Mission Trips, National Forensic League, Performing Arts, Play Production/Theater Tech, Photography Club, ProLife Club, Retreats, Robotics, and Student Council. The school is a frequent winner of state championships in speech and debate, academic bowl, and robotics competitions.


Bishop Kelley has won more state championships than any other school of its size in Oklahoma, including state championships in baseball, football, soccer, softball, volleyball, basketball, tennis, golf and cross country. Its women's volleyball and women's soccer teams have been nationally-ranked. Bishop Kelley was the first Tulsa high school to support a lacrosse team.[7]

NCAA head coach Barry Hinson (currently coaching at Southern Illinois University) coached the men's basketball team at Bishop Kelley. Bishop Kelley is also the site for Russell Westbrook's "Why Not" Basketball camp.[8]

Battle of the Bishops Rivalry[edit]

In football, Bishop Kelley shares a tradition with cross-state rival Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School.[9] The winner of the contest obtains possession of the "Shillelagh Trophy" for the upcoming year.[9] The schools also compete annually in boys and girls basketball.

State Championships [10][edit]

Academic Bowl- 1993, 1995, 1998, 2004, 2005*, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016

Baseball- 1976, 1978, 2004, 2006, 2011

Boys Basketball- 1995

Boys Cross Country- 1967, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 2005, 2008

Girls Cross Country- 1985, 1986

Fast Pitch Softball- 1977, 1991, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2001

Football- 1981

Boys Golf- 1986, 1988, 1993, 2002, 2012, 2013

Girls Golf- 1996, 2000, 2001, 2006

Boys Soccer - 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011

Girls Soccer - 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Speech and Debate - 1993, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2011, 2012, 2013

Boys Tennis - 1995, 1999, 2001, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

Girls Tennis - 1985, 1987, 1995, 1997, 2006, 2007, 2008

Volleyball- 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015

Wrestling- 1974, 1975, 1984, 1985

Total : 105

  • The 2005 Bishop Kelley Academic Bowl team defeated the national champion academic bowl team in a scrimmage, but did not compete against them during the regular season because they were in a different athletic class.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Private School Review. "Bishop Kelley High School." Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  2. ^ NCA-CASI. "NCA-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Archived from the original on April 29, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  3. ^ "History". Bishop Kelley High School. Retrieved 26 April 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Bonner, Jeremy (2008). The Road to Renewal: Victor Joseph Reed & Oklahoma Catholicism, 1905-1971. The Catholic University of America Press. 
  5. ^ Mencken, H.L. (2012). Diary of H. L. Mencken. Knopf Doubleday. 
  6. ^ Davis, Margaret Leslie (2001). Dark Side of Fortune: Triumph and Scandal in the Life of Oil Tycoon Edward L. Doheny. University of California Press. p. 118. ISBN 0520229096. 
  7. ^ Moguin, Mike (2 March 2016). "Lacrosse Becoming Popular in Greater Tulsa". Greater Tulsa Reporter. Retrieved 1 May 2017. 
  8. ^ Vardeman, Brady (12 July 2016). [NCAA head coach Barry Hinson (currently coaching at Southern Illinois University) coached the men's basketball team at Bishop Kelley. "Russell Westbrook's Tulsa visit sets Twitter ablaze"] Check |url= value (help). Tulsa World. Retrieved 1 May 2017. 
  9. ^ a b Lewis, Barry (September 12, 2008). "Bishop Kelley at OKC McGuinness: The stick that's all that". Tulsa World. 
  10. ^ "History of Champions". 
  11. ^ Klein, John (9 Jan 2017). "The land of the Osage is coming home". Tulsa World. Retrieved 1 May 2017. 
  12. ^ Smith, Michael (2016-07-13). "Tulsa filmmaker known for 'SNL' projects dies of cancer at 39". Tulsa World. Retrieved 2016-08-06. 

External links[edit]