Kelly Graham

Step into the legacy of Kelly Graham, a Crater High graduate from 1973, esteemed in the Athletic Hall of Fame.

A 1973 Crater graduate, Kelly was an outstanding athlete who in his senior year set a school record of 6’ 8” in the high jump. In today’s world, it is amazing that this high jump record, after 50 years, still stands. A perfectionist of the Fosbury Flop, Kelly began the technique of the high jump while attending Scenic Junior High School. Besides track and field, Kelly was a multi-faceted athlete, competing also in cross country and basketball while at Crater High. He was undefeated in the high jump in 1973 and was the state high jump champion at the Oregon State Track & Field meet with a jump of 6’ 7”.

While at Crater, Kelly was also active in the Crater FFA chapter, especially his involvement in a project to survey the Rogue River, valley creeks, and tributaries for the Jackson County Irrigation District.

After high school graduation, Kelly attended Lane Community College where he competed in track and field and broke the Lane Community College high jump record several times. He was named National Junior College All-American in 1975 and tied for 3rd place at the National meet. Kelly successfully jumped 7’½” at the University of Washington Indoor Invitational in 1975. He had the honor to compete against the 1972 Olympic High Jumpers at Memorial Coliseum, Portland, OR in 1975. In addition, he was invited to several Twilight Invitational meets at the University of Oregon.

After Lane Community College and a sports career-ending injury, Kelly entered the world of work, starting first planting trees for a reforestation project in the Applegate and then moving on to a similar project on the Three Sisters Mountain range and eventually to the Gila National Forest in New Mexico. Tiring of this physically demanding work, Mr. Graham moved to San Jose, California, first working in the semiconductor industry and then with the General Electric nuclear spare parts division, serving as a warehouse supervisor.

After eight years in San Jose, Kelly moved back to Southern Oregon where he got married and subsequently had a son and a daughter. He went to work for Harry and David as a coordinator trainer for new hires as well as being an equipment operator and filling other warehouse functions. After suffering an on-the-job injury, he retired from Harry and David after working there for 25 years. Even with his work schedule, he found time to serve as a volunteer track coach for the YMCA for grades three through six.

Kelly is currently enjoying his retirement where he focuses on biking, hiking, fishing, water sports, rock hunting, and his special love, motorcycle riding. He especially enjoys the scenic motorcycle rides from his home in Shady Cove and exploring the many hills and trails of the area. He is very active in his motorcycle club and is especially involved in his club’s efforts to raise money for the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon.