The University of Notre Dame announced today that it has extended head football coach Brian Kelly’s contract through 2021, which will make him the longest tenured coach in the university’s history.
Kelly has amassed a 55-23 record in 78 games. Lou Holtz, who coached from 1986 to 1996, was 100-30-2 in 132 career games. Depending on the team’s bowl game appearances, Kelly could pass Holtz during the Sept. 19, 2020 game against Purdue.
The timing of this announcement suggests it’s aimed toward recruits who are considering whether to sign letters of intent with Notre Dame starting Wednesday. It should also temper persistent rumors that Kelly would seriously entertain offers from NFL clubs.
Here’s another important point, as noted by Notre Dame: Kelly’s athletes are thriving in the classroom.
Since Kelly has been at Notre Dame, the Irish football program three times has ranked first among FBS institutions in NCAA Graduation Success Rate numbers and never has ranked lower than sixth. In federal graduation rates for football Notre Dame has consistently ranked in the top 10 among FBS schools during Kelly’s tenure, while NCAA Academic Progress Rate football numbers have been at least 970 (out of a possible 1,000) in all his years at the University.
Here’s all the back patting, followed by a hype video:
Athletics Director Jack Swarbrick:
“In the classroom, in the community and on the playing field, Brian has built the foundation of a great Notre Dame football program–one that reflects this University’s values and its unique relationship to the game of football. I could not be more excited about the future of our football program under Brian’s leadership, and I am especially thankful that our student-athletes will continue to have the benefit of that leadership in the years to come.”
“I want to thank Father Jenkins and the leadership of Notre Dame for their confidence in me. I coach football because I believe there are few better avenues for impacting the lives of young men, and I am certain that there is no better place to do that than the University of Notre Dame. During the next six years I look forward to continuing to lead a championship caliber program, but more importantly I look forward to continuing to help the student-athletes I coach to achieve greatness as football players, as students and as men who will make a difference in families, communities and organizations they will someday lead.”
THE BRIAN KELLY ERA CONTINUES
BK's new contract:
6 more years of hardcore football.https://t.co/cTO1ps9gjs
— The Fighting Irish (@FightingIrish) January 29, 2016