While everyone’s workday was wrapping up on the East Coast, Notre Dame announced that Brian Kelly had received a two-year extension to remain as Notre Dame’s head coach through 2016. In the press release, athletic director Jack Swarbrick had this to say about Kelly and his new contract:
“While Coach Kelly and I are focused on the additional work that must be done to reach our goals, I am very pleased with the progress we have made during the past two years.” University of Notre Dame vice president and director of athletics Jack Swarbrick said. “Our football team’s performance on the field, in the classroom, and in the community reflect Coach Kelly’s commitment to building a program that will be able to sustain success in the long run, and to doing so in a manner consistent with Notre Dame’s values and tradition.”
Has Kelly earned it? That is certainly more thanÂ debatable, especially after a season that fell well below expectations. While we can definitely point to some upsides like our defensive front seven and our recruiting, watching the Notre Dame offense struggle and cough up the ball all season long doesn’t exactly inspire such contract extension confidence.
Does it helpÂ recruiting? Again, this is rather debatable. It definitely helps that Kelly can walk into a recruit’s house and say that he is in for their entire career. Then again, recruits these days are likely more than wise to the fact that the coaching carousel spins at an insane pace every season,Â especiallyÂ considering that EA’s popular NCAA series now mimics it.
Does it really give Kelly more job security? Not at all, just ask Charlie Weis how much his 10 year extension guaranteed his position. While there is no doubt that this extension will increase any potential buyout, if ND wants to fire Kelly, he will be fired and they will have no problem doing so.
With all that in mind, I give this news anÂ overwhelmingÂ “meh” as far as how I personally feel. Â While I personally still support Kelly, I’m not exactly jumping for joy over this extension nor do I think it means that Swarbrick thinks that Kelly is on the verge of being the next Lou Holtz.
If anything, this is just an attempt to show a unified front that Notre Dame is on the same page for the next four years. Whether or not that unified front will remain 100% genuine for the next four years though remains to be seen.