Brian Kelly Notre Dame Contract

December 11, 2009 by USA Post 

Brian Kelly Notre Dame Contract,Brian Kelly said he has fulfilled a childhood dream, turning a 19-year college football head coaching career into a job leading the Fighting Irish at the University of Notre Dame.

Kelly, who was hired yesterday to replace fired Charlie Weis, said today at his introductory news conference that he grew up near Boston listening to game replays on the way home from church, a day after watching Fighting Irish football games at home.

“That was all that was on the TV in the Kelly house,” Kelly said after leaving the University of Cincinnati to sign a five-year contract at the South Bend, Indiana, school. “It makes today seem like a dream.”

Kelly offered no timetable for completing his coaching staff, and said he would interview every member of Weis’s staff that was interested in remaining with the team.

Weis was fired Nov. 30 after Notre Dame lost its final four games to finish a 6-6 season. He was unable to revive a program that ranks third in college football history with 837 wins and won national championships under coaches such as Knute Rockne, Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian and Lou Holtz.

“There’s a football coach, and then there’s the football coach at Notre Dame,” Kelly said. “The excellence in the academics and athletics is second to none. I wanted that challenge and I’m excited by that challenge.”

The 48-year-old Kelly led the Bearcats to a 12-0 record and their second straight Big East Conference title in his third season at the school. Cincinnati finished third in college football’s Bowl Championship Series standings after rallying to beat Pittsburgh 45-44 with a last-minute touchdown.

Bearcats’ Record

Kelly leaves Cincinnati with a 34-6 record, leading the Bearcats to their first consecutive 10-win seasons. He coached Central Michigan to a Mid-American Conference title in 2006. In 19 seasons as a head coach, he has a 171-57-2 record.

He was named the Home Depot National Coach of the Year yesterday and the Big East Conference Coach of the Year the last three years.

“You have to have young men that are passionate about playing the game,” Kelly said of his past success and recruiting style. “They have to love to play this game. If you’re not passionate about what you do and how you do it, you probably won’t connect with me.”

Not everyone was happy with Kelly’s hiring.

Cincinnati senior wide receiver Mardy Gilyard walked out one minute into Kelly’s meeting yesterday with his now former team, saying he was “disgusted,” ESPN reported.

‘Up Front, Honest’

“Transition is very difficult,” Kelly said today. “Those situations are extremely emotional. I handled myself in a way that was up front and honest. I’m forever grateful for the players at the University of Cincinnati, for what they gave me. They gave me this opportunity at Notre Dame.”

Notre Dame said last week that it wouldn’t play in a bowl game this season, even though it was eligible to be invited with a non-losing record. The school has won once in its last 10 bowl appearances and captured the most recent of its 11 consensus national championships in 1988.

Weiss went 35-27 in five seasons at Notre Dame, winning one bowl game and posting a lower winning percentage than predecessors Tyrone Willingham and Bob Davie.

Kelly, a native of Chelsea, Massachusetts, and a 1983 graduate of Assumption College, will be without two leading undergraduate members of this season’s team when Notre Dame opens its 2010 campaign. Quarterback Jimmy Clausen and receiver Golden Tate announced this week that they would skip their senior seasons and enter the National Football League draft.

Asked what was his motivation was for taking on the challenge of coming to Notre Dame, Kelly said, “First and foremost, restoring it to the traditions that we all know about, and the history.”

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