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Brian Kelly hasn't been contacted by Notre Dame

Nov 18, 2009, 11:50 AM EDT

Brian Kelly is the name most aligned with the Notre Dame coaching job if athletic director Jack Swarbrick and the university’s administration decide to make a change at head coach. But Kelly has yet to hear from anyone at Notre Dame or through any third parties about the potential job opening.

When talking with Dan Patrick this morning on his radio show, Kelly talked candidly about the school. “Probably just profile,” Kelly remarked when asked why he thought his name keeps coming up. “We’ve won a lot of games, done more with less, and I’m East coast Irish Catholic.”

Patrick opened up talking with Kelly about the BCS system and then asked the Cincinatti coach if he was cheering for Connecticut this weekend against Notre Dame. “Absolutely, no question” Kelly said, though it was more in support of fellow Big East coach Randy Edsall and the hardships his team have gone through this year than against the Irish.

Kelly then opened up about coaching at Notre Dame, and compared the job to being a true public figure, akin to being “the Governor.” Kelly also stated that there is no escape clause in his contract for certain jobs, and he has yet to even comment on a potential move one way or the other.

“I’ve always stayed away from that,” Kelly said. “Why paint yourself into a corner. Do the best at the job you have. Last I checked, that job wasn’t open anyway.”

Even though he’s flattered by the attention, Kelly presented a fairly convincing case that he is, indeed, happy in Cincinnati. He has a young family, and he has the opportunity to build something that’s never been done before with the Bearcats, something you can’t say about coaching at Notre Dame.

  1. StephenOfTroy - Nov 18, 2009 at 12:52 PM

    The endless stories about whether ND will or should have a new coach do nothing but fuel…more stories about whether ND will or should have a new coach.
    How about some stories about how key players on the ND team are going about preparing for their final two games (particularly as to seniors)?
    Or how about an insider’s view of what it’s like to be an assistant coach, or a scout team player? Something to give us an appreciation of how hard these players and coaches work, you know? When I watched Weis’s press conference clip on this site, I was reminded of how, pretty much as soon as the whistle blows at the end of a game on Saturday, the coaches have to turn their attention to the next opponent. It’s a game, and a glamorous job, but it’s grueling. I think a proper appreciation for the difficulty MIGHT cool some of the criticism, or at least temper it with more respect.
    That said, I also think it’s ridiculously unfair to the players, alumni, and fans of the teams whose coaches are interviewed about whether they’re interested in coaching for ND. Brian Kelly is only one example. Just when the people at Cincinnatti or Stanford get a good thing going, they have to have it rubbed in their faces that their coach (a primary reason for their success) might be using them as a platform to audition for what he REALLY wants.
    Think about how you’d feel if someone interviewed your wife on the radio about whether she’d be interested in marrying Tom Brady or President Obama. I know it’s not the exact same thing, but come on, you’re here reading these stories. Sports fans often feel a visceral connection to their beloved teams. This is doubly so if you’re an alumnus of the college in question.
    I know that controversy sells, like bad news. But it would be nice, particularly when things aren’t going well for the Irish, if we could get some sort of break from the “should he stay or should he go” endless cycle of reporting. It’d get us away from the “same tired facts” you lamented in the SI story, Mr. Arnold, if nothing else.
    GO IRISH, and Fight On, Trojans!

  2. Nor-Cal Scott - Nov 18, 2009 at 1:05 PM

    Talk is cheap. Until Charlie gets the axe it’s all hot air.
    Swarbrick surely ALWAYS has a short list of coaches he would be interested in. And I’m betting he has refined that list the past two weeks.
    As a 47yo Californian I grew up watching “ND Highlights” with Lindsay Nelson and Paul Horning on Sunday mornings before church, and have been a passionate fan forever. It has been a tough 10-15years for us Domers. My old friends email me jabs all the time.
    It is time for a CHANGE! But who? We need a proven, winning, successful college coach. One who knows the recruiting trail, etc. If Swarbrick does not act quickly after the last regular season game the program might lose a potential coach. Don’t sit on your hands! To think that ND is still “thee” premiere job in CFB is delusional, the job has a lot of drawbacks too.

  3. mike ford - Nov 18, 2009 at 7:13 PM

    And this coming from the man who has done nothing but litter our site with rhetorical comments about the same subject!

  4. qb - Nov 18, 2009 at 9:58 PM

    well i can see why an sc fan would like charlie on the sidelines for another 20 years

  5. mrrandolph - Nov 18, 2009 at 10:38 PM

    I also grew up watching the highlights on Sunday morning. If I remember correctly, it was an early staple of ESPN programming along with Australian Rules Football.
    I also remember when Lou coached whether it was ABC,CBS, or a NBC broadcast their promo was always Lou Holtz and the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.
    If a change is made, ND needs someone with national credibility who can promote the university. Lou was also during his ND days out of the motivational circuit promoting himself and the Univ. These are not the old days. Everyone is now on TV. ND needs a salesman and a coach.

  6. erobles - Nov 18, 2009 at 10:54 PM

    I’m willing to give Charlie one more year… However, if he get’s the axe, I would like Swarbrick to consider Bill Cowher. He’s a proven head coach, a Superbowl winner, would be great for recruiting, and most of all he’s a defensive guru which is what the Irish need.

  7. mrrandolph - Nov 18, 2009 at 11:06 PM

    Bill Cowher is a great choice. He is living in NC around Raleigh w/ Kay (NC State Grads both)
    What about Holmgren, Shanahan, Dungy – all SB winners.
    Or, Florida DC Charlie Strong wasn’t he on ND staff with Urban
    Philip Fulmer said tonight, on the Tony Barhardt show, that he is ready to go if a school approached him that was willing to commit the resources to winning.

  8. Uily Harry - Nov 19, 2009 at 12:12 PM

    Although Tom Clements is a long shot and an unproven head coach, he deserves the chance more than anybody else because he was a major contributor to ND’s championship. He played with poise,coolness, composure and consistency. If he can instill his qualities into the players, it would be a great impovement over the “helter-skelter” way they are playing right now.
    Of course he is unproven and can turn out to be a bust, but he has paid his dues at ND. Even though he may be a “higher risk” than other more established names, he has helped ND football.
    Sure, you may say, well, Charlie was a ND grad too. There is a big difference. Charlie was more or less just a regular student or avid fan.

  9. mike - Nov 19, 2009 at 12:33 PM

    I live in tennessee and I can tell you that Fulmer is not what we need. Weis can and does outcoach Fulmer without even trying! Nd played tennessee twice under weis and ND wonder but bunches both times! Also We do not need an ex nfl coach who got burned out this is ND there is just as much pressure here as in the pros! If everyone would just chill out Charlie and ND will be fine. Charlie is the best coach for notre dame now and in the future! Go irish but most of all GO CHARLIE

  10. mrrandolph - Nov 19, 2009 at 1:28 PM

    I also live in Tenn and I know Fulmer is not a good choice, He forced Johnny Majors out of the Tn job when JM had turned around the program and was winning at a near 80% clip his last four years. Alot of Fulmer’s success lies with his assistants (Chaveous and Cutcliff) Cutcliff incidentally was CW choice for OC his first year and would have been a great addition to the program.
    And, this is minor, CW only played TN once. Ty played them in 2004 and beat TN in Knoxville 17-13. Incidentally, the brother of Jimmy Clausen, Rick threw a poor interception to Mike Goolsby for a TD to win the game.
    I am not a fan of Fulmer but a 76% winning percentage beats a 58% winning percentage everyday. So, Philip can either outcoach or outrecruit CW. I don’t know which one.
    And, believe it or not, I will be fine regardless of who is coaching the Irish.
    I am glad you don’t want any ex-NFL coaches though.

  11. Bernie O'Kelly - Nov 19, 2009 at 2:30 PM

    Notre Dame ahould finally be ready for TOM CLEMENTS to coach ND.
    He led ND to a national championship as a quarterback and was an asst. coach there under Holtz. he helped turn around Bret Farve at Green Bay and I know he wanted the job when they hired Weiss.
    I believe he could have us in the top ten everyyear he would coach there.
    Bernie O’K

  12. StephenOfTroy - Nov 19, 2009 at 10:05 PM

    qb, if you’re referring to me when you mention “an sc fan,” you’re mistaken. I don’t want to see Weis around for 20 more days, let alone 20 more years. I like ND. Just not as much as I like USC. And I want ND to get better. I don’t believe they will as long as Weis is around.
    I’ve written repeatedly (and, according to mike ford [whose reading comprehension skills leave something to be desired] rhetorically) that I think Weis should be fired. I just don’t think it does a heap of good for Mr. Arnold and other Irish scribes to keep penning stories about it, unless THEY want the “should Weis stay or go” story to be the only thing people talk about.
    Oh, and I think Bill Cowher is a great NFL coach. No idea, and no basis on which to judge, whether he could be an effective college coach, much less whether he WANTS to step into the eye of the hurricane in South Bend. NFL coaching is about dealing with men. Professionals. Veterans. (this is particularly true for a long-tenured coach like Cowher…) But college coaching is about dealing with overgrown, overhyped boys. 17 to 21 year olds who’ve always been told how great they are. I don’t know that Cowher could or would want to do it, without making a major deviation from his coaching persona. And can you picture him sitting in some 17 year old’s living room buttering up the parents? I don’t know.
    It amuses me that ND fans seem to think that any coach they want, no matter who, active or retired, pro or college, automatically wants them. Hubris.

  13. peterNY - Nov 21, 2009 at 6:34 PM

    I thought Gerry Faust was the worst ND coach in history. I was wrong. I have never endured such horrible football for so long. And the scary part is there is no end in sight no matter who comes in after CW. I would not want to go into a new season with this defense or this offensive line. Thank goodness for graduation. I’m at a loss as to say anything further. I made my first trip to ND this year. It was while there was still hope left in the season. I saw the Washington game. But I knew then that this team didnt have what it takes to be a bowl eligible team. I’ll watch the upcoming beating at the hands of Stanford and be sick again because I love Notre Dame football. I’m running out of things to throw at my television and I’ll spend the off-season spackling the holes in the sheetrock. I dont buy the argument that ND academic standards are too high. What about at Navy. Whose standing on line to give there lives to go to the Middle East?

  14. David86 - Nov 21, 2009 at 8:08 PM

    I don’t know what ND will do, though I have my suspicions. One thing I will say about the buyout, and that is that it is something they cannot afford NOT to do. Alums get mad and close their checkbooks when this keeps happening. And then there’s the other little item of ND apparel and paraphernalia royalties, which (as with any team brand) go down when the team loses and go up when they win. This is especially true of the Irish, love ’em or hate ’em. ND has the money to do this, easily.
    As for the other talk, I don’t buy at all that they have too tough academic standards, that recruiting is too hard for that locale, blah, blah. ND can (and should) hold the line on who they are, but they’ll have to pay for it–BIG. The question is, who will come to steer the ship? Considering all that’s at stake, perhaps that metaphor in reference to the schooner atop ND’s business school isn’t so off the mark.

  15. garry1 - Nov 22, 2009 at 6:35 AM

    keep cw but getrid of johnT for some reason hw does not get the best out of descent talent and the N.D.defence has no discipline.
    you wont win with your strong safety leading the team in tackles

  16. barng - Nov 22, 2009 at 12:04 PM

    i dont want to see him go as i believe he’s still the man for the job.i just do not understand how he went from a good coach in 2005
    2006 to a bad coach now maybe some one can enlighten me

  17. Travis Aker - Nov 24, 2009 at 10:26 PM

    Well see Charlie Strong used to be the defensive coordinator when Lou Holtz was coach at Norte Dame,they had probably one of the best defensive units in college history. That team was loaded from offensive to defense there was no weakness. They need somebody like a Lou Holtz who is a general on the field,that will teach them boys the basic fundamentals of football. What it means to win as a team,about the tradition of Norte Dame. Norte Dame used to be a team that you wouldn’t want to play in college football,they where destroying everybody in there pass,and now where a bunch of pussys.

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