2023 – #1 – Nelson

#1 | Blue KC Coaches with Character

Klee Nelson, Kansas City East coach

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) and the “C” You in the Major Leagues Foundation have announced Kansas City East Lions coach Klee Nelson as the Blue KC Coaches with Character honoree for April. 

Klee Nelson has been coaching at KC East, a homeschool organization in the Kansas City community, since 2015 and never takes a single day of his job for granted. His passion for coaching makes him a key asset in helping student-athletes engage in fun, happy and healthy competition outside of their homeschooled environments.

“What I love about coaching is that we are able to provide high school, junior high and elementary school sports environments for the homeschool community in Kansas City,” said Nelson. “The parents are the responsible party for each student they give us, and we do our very best to show honor, respect, discipline and concern for their development. We are all working toward the same goal of developing young children to be better individuals and better citizens in our society.”

Nelson’s coaching background began more than 15 years ago, and he instantly fell in love with the opportunity to enhance his players’ athletic skills, while also assisting their parents in teaching them responsibility and discipline through individual practices and games. His coaching background spans several sports, including football, baseball and basketball, which means there is no such thing as an offseason when it comes to his ability to educate young athletes in their preferred sport.

“Always remember, the team and its success should not be your focus,” said Nelson. “Respecting and honoring each player is where your reward should be. Enjoy the wins, but enjoy the players and make those relationships your ultimate priority.”

Through coaching, Nelson is able to give homeschooled kids an opportunity to play sports that they never thought they could. He says that it is his honor and privilege to be able to serve homeschool and small private-school communities when they feel they do not have any other options. He is providing opportunities that he never had as a child, and he knows how fulfilling it is to the players who he and the rest of the staff coach and mentor.

“We truly view this as part of their development and an accent to their total education program,” said Nelson. “Give everything you have to help in your development and to help the team. Challenge yourself to a point beyond what you think you can achieve, and you will never regret the attempt.”

“Aside from volunteering his time with the KC East Lions, Klee also works a full-time job while helping raise his four boys,” said Klee’s nominator Kris Nelson. “His dedication, energy and outstanding character in helping develop young football players in the Kansas City community, while also serving as a deacon at the Church of Christ in Lee’s Summit, makes him a deserving recipient of this award.”

“I try to be the best I can be, even though in my mind I fall way short of my goals,” said Klee Nelson. “That said, I feel I have been able to make a lasting impact on most of the players I’ve coached over the years, and I know they have all helped make me a better person along the way.”

“Coach Nelson’s ability and willingness to address the need of athletic opportunities for homeschooled students are inspiring,” said Christina Lively, Blue KC Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “It’s vitally important for the growth of our community to allow our children a well-rounded education, both through academics and athletics, and Coach Nelson’s passion and commitment to this endeavor will not go unnoticed. It’s our honor to recognize him as this month’s Blue KC Coaches with Character recipient. Congratulations!”