Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly and tight end Tyler Eifert have each snagged top college football postseason awards. Kelly has been named the Home Depot College Football Coach of the Year, while Eifert has won the John Mackey Award as college football’s best tight end.
Kelly has guided the Fighting Irish to a 12-0, the program’s first such mark since 1988, and a berth in the Jan. 7 BCS National Championship Game against Alabama. His 28 wins in his first three seasons are tied for the most by an Irish coach. His teams have won at least eight games in each of his first three seasons at the helm. That mark surpasses the win totals of Lou Holtz, Ara Parseghian, Frank Leahy, and Knute Rockne.
Kelly is the first two-time winner of the Home Depot Coach of the Year Award. He also took home the honor in 2009 – his third and final season as head coach at the University of Cincinnati.
Eifert is the first Notre Dame player to ever win the Mackey Award. The honor recognizes play on the field as well as sportsmanship, good academic standing and exceptional leadership abilities. Eifert, a senior from Ft. Wayne, IN, is one of four captains for the Irish in 2012. He has 44 receptions for 624 yards and four touchdowns for the Fighting Irish this season. He is Notre Dame’s all-time receiving tight end.
Kelly and Eifert will each receive their awards during the Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU.