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Kesell grew up playing net for Brockton Youth Hockey, followed by four years of Brockton High School varsity. As a pro, he played for the South Shore Braves (USAHL), as well as three years in the AHL for the Rochester Americans.
In 1981, Kesell suffered a career-ending injury and walked away from hockey for 10 years but was eventually compelled to return to the sport he loved as a coach at his high school alma mater in 1988. In 1991, he was goalie coach for Malden Catholic High School before moving onto a similar position at Thayer Academy where he spent nine seasons. During his tenure, he developed two Division I goalies – one who become a first-team All-American at UNH.
After his time at Thayer Academy, Kesell entered the college coaching ranks at St. Anselm College. During the season, both goalies under his tutelage enjoyed a 0.94 save average. After one season he was recruited to be the goalie coach at hockey powerhouse Northeastern University. His starting goalie that year was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team, and in 2004 his goalie made First-Team All-American.
In 2005, Kesell took his skills to Babson College where he continued to produce results, including two ECAC East All-Rookies 2006, 2010; three ECAC East Goalie of The Year 2005, 2013 and 2015; three Division ll/lll All-Americans 2013, 2014 and 2015; ECAC East Player of The Year 2014; Winner of The Joe Concanon Award (Best American-Born Division ll/lll Player); and New England Hockey Writer's Association Division ll/lll All-Star Team 2013 and 2015.