Keelin Godsey '06 | Alumni Inductee

Keelin Godsey '06 accepts induction into the Bates Scholar-Athlete Society on May 30, 2015. (Daryn Slover)

The most decorated athlete in Bates history, Keelin Godsey graduated in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in English. Keelin competed with the Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field teams and served as a team captain for both squads for two full years.

Throughout his career at Bates, Keelin was named an All-American sixteen times, won two national championships in the women’s hammer throw, and set the NCAA Division III record in the hammer throw — a record that still stands today. He earned All-America status in four different throwing disciplines — shot put, weight throw, and discus throw, in addition to his specialty, the hammer.  Twice, he was named USTFCCCA New England Region Track and Field Athlete of the Year.  He was so dominant a thrower that he was named to the NCAA Silver Anniversary Division III Track and Field Championship Team.  

Godsey came out as transgender before the beginning of his senior year with the Bates women's track and field team in 2005, changing his name from Kelly to Keelin and his self-identification from female to male. His experiences before 2005 and since then, from athletic feats to personal trials, are recounted in a special report published in the May 28, 2012 issue of Sports Illustrated, “The Transgender Athlete.”

After graduating from Bates, Keelin continued to compete in the women’s hammer throw. He finished seventh in the 2008 Olympic Trials and followed that with a fifth-place finish in the 2012 Olympic Trials. In 2011, he finished third at the USATF Nationals and represented the United States in the Pan Am Games, where he finished fifth.

Both at Bates and on a national level, Keelin has helped athletics become more accepting of LGBTQ athletes and even influenced the institutional perspective that Bates College has on LGBTQ athletes.

Professionally, Keelin has enjoyed success as a physical therapist and was recognized with a Clinical Excellence Award for his work. He graduated from Northeastern University in 2010 with his doctorate in physical therapy and also received his strength and conditioning specialist certification. In addition to his work as a physical therapist, Keelin currently serves as an assistant throws coach for the Williams College track and field program.  

In recognition of Keelin’s outstanding career as an athlete, and for his dedication, leadership and commitment to academics and athletics, it is an honor to offer membership in the Bates Scholar-Athlete Society to Keelin Godsey.