DEBATE THIS! The Heroic? Return of Brian Kelly

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly addresses the media prior to Monday night's national title game. Photo: Alan Diaz/AP

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly addresses the media prior to Monday night’s national title game. Photo: Alan Diaz/AP

Head Coach Brian Kelly returns to Notre Dame! Are we happy? Maybe, maybe not. Grantland X and I seem to have differing views on the topic. Here is my two cents worth on the return of Brian Kelly, and Grantland X will present his rebuttal on Monday. Here we go …

It’s o-dark-thirty in the college football recruiting world and Notre Dame is hovering with a top five recruiting class.

In the days leading up to the national title game head coach Brian Kelly gushes that coaching at Notre Dame is his dream job.

Kelly told reporters in Florida before the game that Notre Dame was his dream job, but said while he was coaching at Cincinnati he was focused on that. He then added: “I think that’s the same thing with the NFL.”

“I think from my perspective I’ve got the best job in the country, NFL, college, high school, whatever. I just look at the place that I’m at and thankful for the opportunity that I have,” he said.

“It’s flattering if there is interest, which I don’t know that there is. But again, that is such a secondary topic for me right now. It’s all about this game.”

On Monday evening the Fighting Irish football team, coming off an undefeated regular season, play Alabama in the national title game (and lose).

Tuesday morning (reported late on Wednesday) head Coach Brian Kelly goes out and interviews for another head coaching job (NFL) in Philadelphia and disappears vacationing. Really?

If timing is everything, his timing lacks a great deal in my opinion.

I realize that coaching is a job just like any other job. And if a great opportunity comes across your path that you’d be foolish to not at least entertain it. But at the same time, there is one thing about coaching that is different from most other “jobs.” Coaching requires one to deal with young men, helping to mold them and grow them, and such dealings require a certain level of trust. What Kelly did this week, just mere moments following their appearance on the national stage, leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I guess I should not be surprised though. This is not the first time that Coach Kelly has disappointed me. From the word go I was not impressed with the way he left Cincinnati. He left those young men at Cincinnati in such a hurry that he did not even stay long enough to coach them in their bowl game. I know that the adoring Notre Dame nation was impressed with his instant loyalty and commitment to recruiting, but that’s not what I saw. I saw a coach who did not give his former team the courtesy of at least finishing what he had started.

The other significant Coach Kelly disappointing moment that sticks out in my mind is the differentiation that he made in 2011 between HIS players and CHARLIE’S players. Why on earth would you do something like that? It is very poor coaching form to divide your own house like that. I admire the players for being able to look past his poor choice of words. Even if they weren’t playing for him, they were at least able to rally together and play for each other. Coach Kelly apologized to his squad, but after an incident like that, the damage is already done.
How much further damage has this interviewing episode done to the team?

And let’s face it; there must have been a part of Brian Kelly that, if the offer was absolutely perfect, would have taken the job, right? Otherwise, why else even entertain it. I can think of much better ways to go about contract negotiations than this. There had to have been some part of him that was ready to throw caution to the wind, walk out the door, and never look back.

Regardless of whether or not I like Kelly’s actions this week, I cannot discount all that he has done in the last three years. I am so tremendously proud of how far he was able to take our young men this year. That cannot be overlooked. But, in the back of my mind, I will always have these Kelly disappointments. Yes, I can welcome him back with open arms, as the hero who has returned to save us … but there will always be that nagging doubt in the back of the mind. And nothing can undo that.

Well, all we can do now is look forward to signing day, and next season. GO IRISH!

  • Matt

    Lisa,

    As a huge Notre Dame fan I can see your point, but as the husband of a college softball coaches I most defiantly see Coach Kelly’s. Coaching is something that you have to be all in all the time, the recruiting, practicing, traveling, drama, caring, and the winning. It is a mental drain to the max and your family has to be all in with you or your marriage will not work either. If you have never personally known a college coach, by personal I mean, been married or dating one, or been their child, mother or father it is probably something you will never fully understand. It is a job hired on success and retained on that very thing. Last year as every year their were some people calling for Kelly’s head after only a 2nd year of process that can take up to four. All the while his staff and recruits are being poached by other programs. People might have been mad if he left last year but after a 12-1 season and looking at an option to possible advance by taking an interview with a higher paying less stressful job, people want to shoot the guy.

    As a coach you have to live in the moment and look at your options at that time. Brian Kelly’s interview was supposed to be kept a secret, which is how any coach at any level approaches a possible job move at the collegiate level. But it was leaked and started a chain reaction that no one could keep up with. Coach Kelly had this small vacation planned with his family, and because his interview was leaked he should not take it? Wrong! This is where that support staff of his family deserves his time and total dedication because of what the miss out on during the season. If you wanna be mad be mad at the person that leaked it. This also happens at every level of collegiate athletics. Coaches have to protect their future and look at things while the iron is hot. Recruits and players are always going to ask are you staying coach. And the only answer you can give them is yes. That is because as a coach you never know. And no matter what level you are at someone always finds out and the rumor mill begins. Coach Kelly only did what any one of us would have done if we were approached by another company offering a promotion and more money. You listen, and then you meet with your family, you think it over, and you pray. It was merely 4 days that he did this and yet we can not understand, and we feel cheated even though he is back. Irish fans rejoice at the coach you have, and the next time the thought of firing this guy crosses your mind think of how you acted when he simply took an interview for another higher paying job and turned it down to stay.

    • brentsn

      Looks like we feel the same Matt. I like the fact of your credibility though , because of your experience ! I always try to put myself , I mean actually put myself in someone elses shoes before I say anything negative.

    • Lisa

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy he’s back, but I don’t have to be happy about the way he went about it. And trust me, I know I am not perfect either. Just expressing my thoughts, that’s all.

      • brentsn

        Oh I don’t know about that Lisa. You are closest to perfect than anyone I know !! I always look foward to what you think , or your slant on things. You are real,genuine,intelligent,sometimes funny and always humble and down to earth ! You’re a wife,mom,daughter AND a graduate from the University of Notre Dame. Whats not perfect ? LOL !!….told you I was talkative today!

        • Lisa

          Nope, I’m not perfect, but I do my best and that’s all I can do!

          At least I have hockey to tide me over until the spring game!

          GO IRISH!

  • brentsn

    A big sigh of relief is what I felt yesterday. I will admit,by friday night,I was getting more and more anxious and nervous with the passing of every minute. I kept thinking,if he leaves,theres a possibility we could be going into another 20 year slump. Maybe not,but depending on what coaches are available,that is a possibility.Nobody can answer that. Diaco is a brilliant defensive coordinator…so was Davey. An ex pro coach ? Charlie Weis was highly successful as OC at NE. Ty was successful at a similar university,but maybe not successful enough.Stanford,like ND has a much tougher road to stay on par w/the rest of college football. 99% of people do not understand how much harder it is for schools like ND,Stanford,Northwestern,the service schools,Vanderbilt etc…I believe Kelly had nor has any intention of leaving ND. There was 7 or 8 openings in the NFL this year.Philly let it be known they wanted to talk to Kelly. Philly initiated ! It was made clear not till after Miami. So Kelly listened this week. No harm,no foul,no big deal whatsoever. OMG NDNation ! How can so many of you ASSUME you know everybody’s intentions ? If somebody came to me and wanted to talk,even if I was happy and knew I would not move,I’d be very curious just to see what they thought of me,maybe how much they think I’m worth. Just curiosity. Dont tell me most all of you wouldn’t. Most likely,one signed contract in the NFL would set up your family for life. Notre Dame is the top job in college football (if you can be successful). The NFL is the top job in football period. Kelly has only one level to move up in his career,the NFL. We could have two .500 seasons in a row and fire Kelly and he’d never have an opportunity in the NFL again. He owed it to himself AND his family to see if there was a better opportunity than what they have now. Add it all up and weigh it all out. Do you actually think,I mean REALLY,that Kelly thought for one second about Philly before Jan.8th? My opinion is anybody that ASSUMES (and does not know) this,…I dont want to call anybody stupid , but I myself,think its ignorant to assume anything of the kind. This is directed at the loud negative ones that are bitching the loudest. This is the business of coaching. This is Coach Kelly’s career that he has worked his entire life from the ground up. I would think ANYBODY in the working world,would investigate if an opportunity came to them. Theres only one place to move up from Notre Dame and that is the NFL. Maybe not the job itself , but it can provide you and your family security for the rest of your life. So they called,Kelly listened,Kelly talked with family,Kelly and family decided they love and belong at Notre Dame. I also believe the recruit that de-commited,had done so already and used the situation to his advantage,by putting the blame on Kelly. The kids dad went to florida and I understand wanted his son to go there also. I hope he gets a good education and is successful in football. This one departure will make no difference. We lost several “must haves” last year (not to mention Lynch) it happens every year,it is no big deal. I used to think so,I was bummed out on signing day last year…Look how the year turned out. When you are very successful,theres going to be people that want you. Down the road,there might be a perfect time and fit for Kelly to move on. Lucky for us it wasn’t now. He owes us nothing. I expect his loyalty to ND while he is here. Besides that, his #1 loyalty should be to his family. I don’t expect him to have the same loyalty as us. I just don’t expect him to stay here forever no matter what. I support ND athletics and I love and support this university,its students and alumni , unconditionally. We are so fortunate to have people like Kelly,McGraw,Brey and all the other coaches here. I will NEVER ASSUME anything,especially anything negative about anything that has to do with ND. Unless I wore Kelly’s shoes,I would never think that I know his “real” intentions. But I believe in ND and I believe Coach Kelly. When he said it wasn’t an option,it wasn’t at that time and it never turned into an option to leave ND. Swarbrick,recruits and players weren’t so worried,so why so many in NDNation? Why did so many report and ASSUME it was for leverage ? Kelly and Swarbrick are too close for that to be anywhere near the truth. Kelly kept Swarbrick updated,and Swarbrick was never concerned. EVERY 1st of December, the AD reviews the coaches and assistant coaches and their contracts. Swarbrick started this the 1st of December and all details are being worked out as they were all along. This interview had nothing to do with it on either side. But people ASSUMED !! Maybe Swarbrick shouldn’t have told Kelly about Philly until Jan 8th. It wouldn’t have changed one little detail. What did people expect Kelly to say last week “Well I heard Philly wants to talk to me , I can’t wait for my interview with them” ??? Blame all this on Philly , all Kelly did was look at what was brought up before him. We don’t need any discord among NDNation. Theres work to do since Jan 7th. Lets get behind this amazing football team and their coach and ride…baby ride…this magic carpet ride !! I sense some REALLY golden opportunities ahead of us. THIS is a great time to be a Notre Dame fan !!

    • Lisa

      It **is** a great time to be a Notre Dame fan. We seem to be on the upswing for sure. There are a few adjustments that need to be made, but I see great things in the future. I was merely playing devil’s advocate this morning!

      Onward to signing day!

      GO IRISH!

    • GB

      I cn understand Kelly exploring new opportunities.I had little doubt he would be hired by Philly. Very few coaches make the successful transition into pro ball including Saban. Kelly is a college coach type. The pros would not appreciate him telling them to straighten their lockers. Of all the coaches interviewed, the odds are maybe 10% he would be hired. I would have hired Chip Kelly before Brian. I think Swarbrick’s thoughts were along these lines. Sure he told Swarbrick of his plans and Swarbrick said so. The assistants had no beforehand knowledge of the interview and neither did the recruits so this is where the problem lies. They are out of the loop. This is the only reason AA bailed. Kelly is assumed to be a good politician but he has a lot of damage control now. Who will believe him in the future? I don’t believe Swarbrick completely either.

      One fellow said the NFL is the pinnacle. Only the top coaches are the pinnacle. The best college coaches get paid more and are better known than the mediocre and poor NFL coaches.I would also argue they have more job security. How many NFL coaches have a long tenure?

      I think most people assumed it was for leverage because he is not NFL material. He fits the college mold much better.

  • http://Ndnation.com Tom Coppolo

    I’m not saying you are right or wrong; but your facts are not right, they are wrong. Kelly did not leave those young men in Cinncy in such a hurry; his AD told him he was not allowed to coach the final game. The vid-clip is on you tube if you would like to confirm.
    Truth is that none of us know what happened behind the scenes, and we have no right to. It’s not “our” life to live. But in this instant gratification society we are all pissed off that someone had the nerve to leave us out of the link! How dare he!
    And, relative to “calling out” the players, I’m glad we have a coach that is as passionate about the game as I am. Lord knows what I yell at my TV any given Saturday! Thankfully my purple face never gets put on ESPN with a lip reader. The man is passionate about winning. Ironically, so was the last ND icon everyone loves… Remember Lou grabbing the player by his facemask?
    In closing…. Let he who is without sin…

    • brentsn

      Tom,I agree 100% with everything you said. Its sad , but its the nature of the beast in football. Coaches are fired in December. They can’t wait till after the bowl games to start interviewing people or someone else will snap up the guy they want. Theres just no easy smooth way to advance your career in football. I don’t recall many coaches coaching their bowl game after being hired by another school. I really don’t know. I do know theres been a few that did after being fired…but not after being rehired somewhere. I would think it would be a difficult thing to do in any situation.Most times he has no choice…I was wondering exactly what happened in Cincy. When you sign a contract,you loyalty changes that very second. One side feels you betrayed them and the other side is happy you’re coming. Theres no way around it and its just an awkward (spell chk lol)time.

    • Lisa

      Oh trust me, I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination … I was just giving my two cents worth. I am ready to look towardS the future … there is so much to be excited about!

      GO IRISH!

      • http://Ndnation.com Tom Coppolo

        Amen! And I’m excited for ’13 to kick off!

      • brentsn

        “Any stretch of the imagination” Where did you get that from ? LOL , Lou maybe ?? LOL

  • David Kuner

    First 2 bad years and 1 good year does not make BK a legion. Lets not start making the bronze statue just yet. ND was embrassed on national TV last Monday night. Before that we heard our head coach on Sunday tell a national TV audience that he had the best job in the world barring none high school college or NFL. Then 2 days later he interviews for another job again embrassing ND nationally. I believe it is called lying when you tell someone one thing and do the opposite. Let us not foget the last head coach caught in a lie was shown the door. ND does not need a head coach with no integrity I suppose he is going to turn into another Les Miles (LSU) in pulling this every year to get more money. I can see the politcian in BK cause we all know politcians are all liars.

    • brentsn

      ND’s record the last 5 years, 3-9 , 7-6 , 6-6 , 8-5 , 8-5…now which two were the “bad” years ? Whose making Kelly a legend ? I’m guessing thats what you meant…and whose erecting bronze statues ? I believe saying “Im not going to be the coach at alabama” while you’re negotiating your contract is lying. Saying he had the best job in the world , then stepping down to take a job at McDonalds would not make Kelly a liar. They called,he listened…that doesn’t mean he was looking. I’m sorry you were embarrassed,cuz I don’t think most were. I’m embarrassed when people have the nerve to call people liars when they are not.

      • Matt

        Well said Brentsn

    • Lisa

      I’m not saying BK is a liar … heck, we all love Dr. Lou and he was not a perfect coach either. I guess that comes with being human. Just wanted to get my two cents out of my head and now I’m ready to move forward!

      GO IRISH!

      • brentsn

        I know you didn’t call anybody a liar Lisa. None of my comments were directed towards you. You wrote your usual excellent blog , bringing up several points for debate. My biggest issue is with the haters that personally don’t like someone and tear them down every which way they can. I read and I start typing too quickly sometimes…haha

        • Lisa

          No problem! And I appreciate you being a loyal reader!

          Now football season can’t get here soon enough! How many days until the spring game?

          GO IRISH

  • http://www.ndnation.com irishize

    MEMO TO BRIAN KELLY:

    –The ND job is a destination job not a steppingstone job. No carpetbaggers need apply.
    –The truth will set you free: Remember that before you ever say ND is your “dream job”
    or “leaving is not an option” or “This decision was motivated by my love for Notre
    Dame”. When you tell one lie, you have to keep telling more to cover it up.
    –You were previously involved in politics. Was your template “The Last Hurrah” of
    Mayor Skeffington (aka Curley) of Boston or Boss Tweed of Tammany Hall in New York?
    –Get grounded in your Irish-Catholic heritage and what Notre Dame means to that heri-
    tage. You were building a legacy and forsook it for a shot at some fast NFL money. Do
    the the Philadelphia Eagles supersede the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame?
    –Will you spring this coaching soap opera on us every year or two? You have a chance
    to be an iconic football coach of an iconic American sports team. Loyalty is the key.
    You will have more money than you will ever need.
    –After that ignominious train wreck against Alabama, you need to devote your full at-
    tention to improving the team and not looking for the next coaching gig.
    –You have enraged Irish fans with your recent behavior. You need to do an about face
    to win us back.

    • Terry Kerrigasn

      Very well sais.

    • http://Ndnation.com Tom Coppolo

      “Dream job”… Do you have some knowledge to say he did not dream of coaching ND? If not, then it’s not a lie.

      “Leaving is not an option”… Did he ever have an offer from another team? No. As such, since ND was the only job he had available, it is not a lie.

      “Love for ND”… Have you ever met the man. If not you have no idea what or how he thinks. How can you say it’s a lie.

      Your anger is fine. But don’t call someone a liar without having personal knowledge of the truth. For example… I’m sure you’re name isn’t “irishize”.

      • http://www.ndnation.com irishize

        If it truly were his dream job, leaving would not be an option because of his love for Notre Dame.

        • http://Ndnation.com Tom Coppolo

          You know what they say: be careful what you ask for, you jut might get it! What do you do once you’ve reached your dream. Everyone answers hat question differently!

    • Lisa

      I guess maybe all this shows us is that every job really **is** a stepping stone to something else. Maybe there is no dream job?

  • Mr. White

    Brian Kelly spent 15 years at Grand Valley State. FIFTEEN YEARS at a Division II school. A guy who spent that much time toiling at the lower levels of college football gets contacted to interview for a job in the NFL and you expect him to not even talk to them?

    • http://www.ndnation.com irishize

      After Notre Dame, every other coaching job is Slippery Rock.

      • Mr. White

        To you. Because you are an ND fan. He is a football coach who knows that he will leave ND someday, quite possibly not on his own terms.

        • http://www.ndnation.com irishize

          Why not make a commitment to make this his last coaching stop, whatever the future brings? He could dedicate himself to building a true legacy. If it is doesn’t happen, he could always go to the broadcasting booth and make a good living.

    • Lisa

      Realistically I understand he wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity to interview with the Eagles … I guess it just kind of smarted because he did it so soon after the loss to Alabama. Maybe I’m just being overly sensitive? I am a girl after all! :)

  • RB

    Kelly was in too much of a hurry to meet with Philly. I suspect it was at least tentatively set up before the Championship game, which of course would pose some level of distraction for him. In any case, he so quickly jumped off the bandwagon of this great team’s season, that he undermined the concept of TEAM for both the returning and departing players on this 12-1 season — players who had already enough wounds to heal after Monday’s huge letdown in Miami. BK displayed the same selfishness and egocentricity he displayed leaving Cincy. I was less troubled about him not coaching the Bowl game, because it would have adversely impacted the next 4-5 yrs for him at ND, had he missed a month of recruiting — but he left on the night of the Cincy team Awards night. When they were celebrating a 12-0 season, they learned by text that their coach was in South Bend accepting the ND job. Again, “timing”. And, again he put his personal interests so far above his team’s that he unnecessarily lost credibility and needlessly hurt his players. [Several of the Cincy players were vocal about their bitterness and hurt re Kelly]. BK could have waited a day or 2 then (ND would have waited), as he could have this week (Philly has a long, patient search process going).
    Instead, he said effectively “to hell with these guys — I’ve done enough for them — now, it’s about me”. Same thing this week. With more consideration and integrity (and “timing”), he could have had it all, wihtout so recklessly disregarding the 80 players and the vast ND community that had forgiven him his many gaffes, including Tulsa — and certainly the 17-19y/o recruits that deserved much better communication during this critical week.
    Taking care of oneself is fine, but being hypocritical and disregarding others is not. Damaging the chances for the next year with both his potential recruits and his returning players is not. I don’t trust Kelly, because Kelly is always too much about Kelly. What an ego!

    • Lisa

      Yeah, his timing was what struck me … but then again, maybe I’m being too critical? I wish him, and the team, well. Truly I do. I just worry that our time with him will be short.

      • http://Ndnation.com Tom Coppolo

        While I also hated the timing, from an unemotional and intellectual standpoint it was perfect….dead period of recruiting so nobody could intact our recruits. Now he can spin…whether true or not…I looked, and passed, now I’m all-in at ND!

        • Lisa

          Very true, but I still think it sends a mixed message to recruits … even in the dead period. Hopefully it all blows over, the recruiting class stays intact, and we count down to the spring game!

          GO IRISH!

          • http://Ndnation.com Tom Coppolo

            Agreed!!!

            Hey Lisa I just realized that you write the Where Are They Now articles…well done. I love reading them! Keep up the fine work!!

        • Lisa

          Thanks, Tom! I am the “Where are they now?” author … should have a new one up this week!

          GO IRISH!

  • VickVinigor

    I was angry at first too. Hard to believe somebody could leave OUR FIGHTING IRISH…truth is, why not take a look? The guy is supposed to say, ” nah, not interested…” Time to be real with ourselves.

    The guy loves Notre Dame. That’s very obvious. And to those still sour on how he left Cinci, that is the norm. Most coaches don’t stick around for their bowl games when hired by somebody else. It’s a business folks. If you haven’t caught on by now you’re the liars. You’re lying to yourself ( see what I did there).

    Time to move past this. We have our leader back. And I guarantee that when he’s back coaching the Irish to W’s next fall all of you babies will quit your crying.

    Go Irish

    • Lisa

      Yes, I know it’s a business … but it is young people, too. That’s what makes it tricky!

      Time to look forward!

      GO IRISH!

  • brentsn

    Who are you to say what a “destination job” is to other people ? ND is a destination job in college football most of us think (including me). That don’t mean everybody thinks that. College football is amatuer . NFL is professional , so yes , professional holds rank over amatuer. “Not an option” was not an option when it was said. Turns out it never was. At the time he said it , the Philly thing was not to be thought about or mentioned. It was only something to be listened to after the responsibilities of the season was over. I think Swarbrick never should have told Kelly till after the game , although it really makes no difference since Jack and Kelly are men of integrity. Kelly never said I’ll never leave and then go looking…did he ? He was never looking , he was called upon and he listened like most every working person would. Before a lucrative offer was made , Kelly discussed with his family and told Philly he wasn’t interested. The family believed ND is where they belong and where they want to be. Therefore , their love for ND is what kept them here. Fans can read into and ASSUME all they want , call names and make up their own stories. Haters will hate and argue if you tell them the sky is blue. If they dont like Kelly , then they dont like Kelly. Who are you to say someone has all the money they need ? I don’t think thats your decision unless you are talking about YOU ! Imagine that. Philly could have secured Kelly’s family for the rest of their lives…but they weren’t interested. They turned down a possible chance because they want to be where they’re at. Irishize , loyalty is key , its too bad you are lacking. You are not lacking a sense of humor though ! I enjoy how you think Kelly should live his life , the remark about the train wreck , what he should devote his time to , accuse him of “looking for a job”…all humorous stuff. But since he wasn’t “looking for a job” (looking,listening are two different words) I guess that makes you the liar by the way you think. I know you will be shocked , but its not all about you. Its about The University of Notre Dame and the career of coach Kelly and his family. So maybe he enraged 2 or 3 fans that are completely irrational and think very selfishly , but the majority of us are not enraged , we’re not immature and we don’t care to make waves on a smooth and calm ocean. We love and respect Notre Dame and support the school , its athletics (all athletics) and all students and alumni. We could be at the beginning of something big here. Why go out of your way to be negative ?? You make an awful lot of assumtions in your comment. We all know the first three letters in assume. If you like , I will send you my email address , I’d appreciate someone with your wisdom and knowledge to tell me what decisions I should make in my life. BOY , I sure hope Coach Kelly is able to win you back ! That would just ruin the whole upcoming year if he’s not able to.

    • http://www.ndnation.com irishize

      Brian wants your email. He wants to sell you a used car.

      • brentsn

        So , you are a used car salesman ? That explains alot.

      • Lisa

        I’m all set in the car department, thanks! :)

        • brentsn

          Yes you are ! Thats a very nice Volvo you aquired :-)

          • Lisa

            Muchas gracias!

    • Lisa

      He never really lost me … no one is perfect … I know I’m sure not. But I can still play devil’s advocate, right? :)

      GO IRISH

  • Chris

    2 bad years and 1 good one? 8-5, 8-5, 12-1! David may I ask what you are watching? 28-11 is one heck of a record and 28 wins in first 3 years only matched by 1 other coach at ND ever. I like Lisa was frustrated by the events over last week and I too will wonder if the money had been more would we all be gathering to discuss the next coach. This comes with winning however so we may as well get used to it. The Charlie’s players and my players thing is obviously not an issue after a BCS title run and Manti returning last year. And I could see what he was trying to get at. I believe those players got it as well because they bought in. Back to the NFL if that had been the Steelers, Cowboys, Packers, 49ers or another historic Giant like the Giants we would be talking Strong, Clements or Diaco right now.

  • Doug B

    I guess my thinking goes back to Ara who was the head coach when I was first introduced to this monster called ND football. Ara loved the university as did Lou, even Dan Devine. I understand that you look for your best opportunities. I think it is all the denying that bothers me. If he would have come out and said I have had contact with the Eagles and I am going to interview then the fans may have been more forgiving. All the proper steps seem to have been followed and the university was aware of his interview. Swarbrick had confidence and who knows he may have been contacting coaches to see if there was any interest. Reports have it that Kelly let teams know he was interested in interviewing and there seemed to be mutual interest. If he did this to have some leverage that should have been evident Monday. Go to Swarbrick and say if we are going to compete with the Alabama’s and the rest of the SEC then this is what we are going to need for our program. Pay my assistants so that are financially secure and happy here and upgrade our facilities. We have to change our attitudes toward the Jumbotron, the field turf and alternative uniforms. These kids want this today it is more important than the education now. I am glad he is staying but hope this is not an annual ordeal.Another time and Swarbrick needs to really question his loyalty. It is a two way street the university has stood behind him when he needed that and he needs to keep his word.

    • Lisa

      I may not want a Jumbotron, field turf or alternative uniforms … but I do recognize it’s importance to the program and TO these young men … so I say go for it. There’s no sense in fighting something that is mostly likely coming whether we like it or not!

      GO IRISH

    • brentsn

      “It is more important than the education now” ?? Did I really read this correctly ?

      • Lisa

        Education is still the most important thing, or at least it should be … but the kids need to see the “bling” apparently.

  • ShamRockNRoll

    Good lord, there are some really immature sounding people getting way too fired up over this. Lisa, as Tom pointed out, some of your facts were just wrong, and I also take issue with the sentiment that Kelly “lied” by describing ND as his dream job while still taking another interview. Everyone needs to grow up. He is a professional. It is possible to have a “dream job” and still want to know what else is out there. He can’t control press leaks, and he’s certainly entitled to time with his family… time that is very limited for him to take given the brief recruiting dead period he was in. And those of you saying he should declare ND his last coaching stop… really? Talk about a deranged sense of entitlement.

    I am glad we will be keeping Coach Kelly, and if this helped him get his great staff taken care of a bit more then it was a move that strengthened our program by making us less likely to lose that incredibly important support staff.

    • Lisa

      I never said he shouldn’t vacation with his family … I just didn’t like the way the timing played out.

      All’s well that ends well, right?

      Looking toward the future … GO IRISH!

  • Patrick

    I was decidedly unimpressed by the manner in which Brian Kelly bolted Cincy. Because my father is a Bearcats alum and my brother and I are Domers, I’ve always rooted for both schools (though more fervently for ND, of course). It was odd to be both furious by the manner Kelly left UC and ecstatic with his final destination. It would be easy to pin the blame for the inconsiderate and disloyal timing entirely on Coach Kelly, but as always, it takes two to tango. Swarbrick created the Catch 22 for Kelly – either leave Cincy in a lurch by taking the job now, or wait with your fingers crossed that it’ll still be yours once your bowl game is over. Again, I was fairly disgusted with Kelly’s behavior at the time, but I was equally so with Swarbrick’s.

  • Tom

    First – I’m an alum.
    Second – I am the father of 2 ND grads.
    Third – I have either been at, watched on TV, or listened on the radio to at least part of every ND football game since Sept, 1966 (the “Baby Bombers” game), except for 2 games (was in Europe).

    So, I guess you can imagine how much of a fan that I am!

    Was I upset over the Philly news – heck yes. But, it’s a business and Kelly has to think of his family and what is best for him in the long term. Recall that even Rockne did this – more than once apparently. He wants a bigger paycheck for himself and his assistants (so they think twice about leaving). Probably also wants a Jumbotron, etc.

    Let’s move on, continue our support – and hope that we don’t lose any more commits.

    • Lisa

      Yes! Onward to signing day! GO IRISH!

  • hatrick316

    I don’t understand all the backlash about Kelly interviewing for the NFL. It’s not in conflict with his statements about Notre Dame being his dream job. He was simply getting a counter-offer so he could ask Notre Dame for a raise. It’s standard procedure in the business world.

    • Lisa

      I guess it was just the timing that surprised me … but I know, it’s a business, and he would have been silly not to at least entertain the offer.

      Bring on 2013!

      GO IRISH

      • brentsn

        Lisa , I dont think anyone had much control over the timing. Philly inquired days before the bowl game and everybody understood no talking till after the game. Regardless of the outcome there was an appointment made for a short talk tuesday morning. There was no offer put out or no kind of contract negotiation. Kelly was scheduled to be with family and kept that commitment.They scheduled an interview for after the family break that I’m sure was VERY much needed. They weighed out the situation and decided to keep leaving ND not an option. Kelly then told Philly he’s not available for the job and took his name out before any kind of offer was made. This is how I understand it went. I am excited for signing day ! I’ve heard on local news that 5 out of the 6 recruits scheduled for early enrollment are on campus. Of course the one is in Florida. I look foward to Grantland X tomorrow !

        • Lisa

          Same here … I am very much looking forward to Grantland X’s post tomorrow!

  • JH

    I’m sorry we lost Monday. I’m sorry the news about BK interviewing with the Eagles leaked out. However, we don’t need to win a competition for the whiniest fanbase in college football. We don’t know how serious Kelly was about the Eagles or why he interviewed with them. Maybe he has always dreamed of having batteries thrown at him. I am very happy with the job he’s done so far. I remember a lot of people wanting Dan Devine gone. We got Gerry Faust. I remember people wanting Lou gone. We got Bob Davie. Let’s try to be happy with the success we’ve had.

  • Sassy

    I felt bad about Kelly’s timing because it gave the haters more ammo to hate. That being said, I don’t want ND to forge its program to mimic SEC teams. I don’t admire those teams or those schools. They are true football factories, plain and simple, who have little concern about how their players will fare when football is over. And while I don’t understand the appeal or field turf or a jumbotron, I do know that I don’t want Notre Dame emulating the SEC. I rather have it the other way around. I want to keep Notre Dame the special place it is.

    • Lisa

      And it truly is, a very special place! GO IRISH!

  • NDtex

    To me, BK made the “Saban mistake” and tried to give an answer that would stop any NFL questioning. Wasn’t very smart of him to do that, especially considering he had said previously that he wouldn’t completely shut out the idea (had a “never say never” quote or something like that prior).

    Either way, I’m not upset with him at all. By all accounts of how the Eagles handled it, they asked Swarbrick for permission and reached out to Kelly before his vacation. It’s been reported that the Eagles wanted a second, longer, sit-down interview with Kelly, but he decided to forgo it.

    The end is how I’m going to focus on this, not the beginning. Kelly could have waited for the Eagles to make a decision and done the second interview after the recruiting dead period was over. He didn’t. The NFL allure simply wasn’t enough for him to sacrifice everything he built at ND.

    Be prepared for this in the future though. This is what happens when you have a hot coach. There is a reason Chip Kelly and Nick Saban are always floated around for NFL jobs. Comes with the territory. Brace yourselves.

    • Lisa

      I am sure it is just a matter of time before the carrot that is dangled in front of BK is just too good to resist. Until then we should enjoy the ride!

      GO IRISH!

      • NDtex

        Depends on how the contract was re-done. How big does the NFL carrot need to be now? Perhaps BK just gave us the answer by coming back to ND: it won’t ever be big enough.

  • goirish67

    The fans in the stadium need a jumbotron to stay keyed up during the interminable TV time-outs, official replays and other various delays. It also gives the fan a chance to see some action that might have been missed due to distance, other fans in the way and other distractions.

  • Pingback: DEBATE THIS! Brian Kelly’s Return Is The Best Possible Outcome | Her Loyal Sons

  • solo

    Lisa well done. One thing I learned while working on my MBA is we as people market ourselves every day. Every one of us is the CEO or president of ourselves and how we brand ourselves makes a difference. I think this job gave Kellz a lot of firsts and it is for sure a greater spotlight than all of his other jobs combined. I have had a lot of firsts that I didn’t handle right and learned from them. He is also learning from his. I respect that and his borderline cocky confident attitude. I think it’s the right way for him to be and I think he will continue to evolve. That is also a good thing. Not perfect in any means but he adjusts well and has a lot of heart.

    It’s been so long since we have been 12 and anything I forgot how loud the haters get and how upset people are when the Irish click like this. Now to focus on making sure that on the field HERE COME THE IRISH means something in the rankings consistently again.

    Go Irish….

    • Lisa

      Thank you & GO IRISH!

  • John Nolan

    I have been around awhile and am not surprised by many turn of events. I can’t fault Mr. Kelly from looking for a new and challenging job. I would if given the opportunity. Would I expect a degree of secrecy If I were in Mr. Kelly’s position. No. And that tells you a lot about the situation. Mr. Kelly is not ready to move on and at this time he is not a great coach. My guess is that he would not have been offered the job. Mr. Kelly has a way to grow. Look at the team he fielded for the bowl game. His players are not that bad. No way. However, they were not prepared to meet the challenges of that day. That is Mr kelly’s job to get them ready for that big day. His alone. If were in the market to hire a coach, Mr. Kelly would not be at the top of my list or anywhere close …. yet.

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