After a week of turmoil that began with Notre Dame losing to Alabama in the BCS Championship Game, Brian Kelly will remain the head coach of the Notre Dame football team. The University made the announcement in a released statement Saturday night.
“This week, I had an incredible opportunity to speak with one of the premier organizations in sports about becoming their head coach,” Kelly said. “Like every kid who has ever put on a pair of football cleats, I have had thoughts about being part of the NFL. However, after much reflection and conversation with those closest to me, I have decided to remain at Notre Dame.”
Speculation, rumors, trips out of the country and back have followed Kelly throughout the week since his reported interview on Tuesday with the Philadelphia Eagles.
“This decision was motivated purely by my love for Notre Dame and the entire Fighting Irish community, the young men I have the great fortune to coach, and my desire to continue to build the best football program in the country.”
Kelly led the Irish to a 12-0 regular season record – its first unblemished mark since the 1988 national championship campaign – after 8-5 records in each of his first two seasons in South Bend. His 2012 success made him a coveted coaching commodity in a year that saw nearly unprecedented head coaching turnover in the NFL.
“I was always confident that Brian would continue to lead our football program,” Notre Dame vice president and athletics director Jack Swarbrick said in his statement. “I am very happy to have that confirmed and share Brian’s excitement about what lies ahead for our program.”
Kelly is just the second Fighting Irish head coach to win 12 games in a season. He is 28-11 in his three years at Notre Dame. Dan Devine is the only other Irish coach to win as many games in his first three seasons.