Born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska, Jon Kelley was originally a professional football player before embarking on a sports broadcasting career spanning 15 years. He was running back for the University of Nebraska for four seasons before eventually graduating with a degree in broadcast journalism. In 1988, he signed a contract with the Denver Broncos then made the transition from participating to covering sporting events.
Kelley began his career as a weekend sports anchor and reporter for a network in Sioux City, Iowa, then later on as a sports reporter for television shows in Kansas City, Missouri, and Omaha, Nebraska. He then became the lead sports anchor on the NBC station WMAQ-TV in Chicago. His stint in Chicago made him one of the region's top sports anchors and directors. He was part of a sports team that earned awards, such as the Chicago/Midwest Emmy for his coverage of the Chicago Bulls' quest for a fifth championship. Kelley likewise received the Peter Lisagor Award for Sports Journalism and the Illinois Broadcasters Association Silver Dome Award for Best Sportscast.
Jon Kelley also served as the main anchor for the Fox Sports' The National Sports Report and Baseball Today. He then co-hosted Extra's one-hour weekend edition and was the show's primary correspondent for the daily show from 2001 through 2007.
In 2008, Kelley hosts the ABC reality show The Mole. The show follows 12 contestants as they try to figure out who among them is The Mole, a saboteur who will keep them away from the prize money. It is up to the players to decide who The Mole is. They need to learn as much as possible about him or her because failure to do so means elimination. In the end, The Mole is revealed but only one will go home with the grand prize.