Kelly joined Preston during the summer transfer window, having previously worked with head coach Ryan Lowe at Bury in 2018. However, just a few weeks after returning to Deepdale, the 58-year-old was forced to step down due to personal health issues.
In fact, Preston issued quite a nice statement on Kelly ahead of his new endeavour in South Yorkshire:
“Following Rob Kelly’s departure from Preston North End in August due to personal health issues, he has today taken up the role of assistant head coach at fellow Sky Bet Championship club, Rotherham United.
“Rob departed North End with our best wishes and we are delighted that he is now back in full health, and everyone at the club wishes him good luck for the future.”
Rotherham United announced on Friday afternoon that Kelly will be new manager Leam Richardson’s assistant head coach in the dugout at the New York Stadium. The duo last worked together at Wigan Athletic two seasons ago when the Latics were promoted to the Championship.
Richardson was given the League One Manager of the Season award for the 2021/22 campaign with Kelly alongside him. When the boss was relieved of his duties at the beginning of the 2022/23 season, Kelly was placed in charge of the first-team until Kolo Toure eventually took charge.
Now, Richardson and Kelly will team up once more at Rotherham as the Millers attempt to fight for survival in the second tier, currently sitting rock bottom of the pack.
This is a really good appointment by Rotherham United. Kelly has plenty of experience and has managed several clubs in this league, including Wigan, Nottingham Forest and Leicester, albeit the first two were in an interim capacity.
Nevertheless, the Millers are eight points adrift of safety in England’s second division so Richardson will need all the help he can get at the moment, hence why Kelly is a decent acquisition.