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Search closes in on Kelly

Dec 8, 2009, 4:56 PM EDT

The Chicago Tribune’s David Haugh reports that Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly is “on brink of becoming Notre Dame’s next coach.”

More from Haugh:

Kelly held a meeting last week about the opening with representatives
of Notre Dame within days of Cincinnati’s Big East championship game
against Pittsburgh, the Tribune has learned.

Talks progressed
well enough that the official announcement Kelly will be Charlie Weis’
replacement could come as early as Friday — anytime after Cincinnati’s
football banquet Thursday night.

The informational session with Kelly was facilitated by the Parker
Executive Search firm out of Atlanta that Notre Dame used to gauge the
interest of potential candidates, a source said. The interest from both
sides was mutual, but Kelly didn’t want his involvement to distract his
Bearcats before the biggest game of the season. And it didn’t —
Cincinnati beat Pitt 45-44 to earn the school’s second straight
BCS bowl berth.

While I don’t doubt the validity of this, I also don’t feel confident with this kind of reporting:

One player contacted by the
Tribune said he sensed, from Kelly’s tone and mannerisms, that Kelly’s departure was imminent.

Sensing something from a coach’s tone and mannerism is far from a trusted source and this could be a regurgitation of facts that all point in the same direction.

Kelly posted on his (not hacked) Twitter account this morning that he wasn’t interviewing today, but that’s likely a good bit of wordplay, if the news that Kelly already met with ND officials is indeed true.

As many have already reported, they expect a decision to be made sometime this week. If that’s the case, all signs point to Brian Kelly being the next head coach of the Notre Dame football team.

  1. Teo - Dec 8, 2009 at 5:40 PM

    I admit that I am VERY curious to see who ND hires next. I am more than VERY curious. So, I am one of the OCD types checking this blog and others all day.
    At the same time, a reporter who relies on a player who “sensed, from Kelly’s tone and mannerisms,” that Kelly was leaving, isn’t a reporter. He’s gossip-producer. It’s like these guys last week, hawking the Bob Stoops story based on that same sort of junk.

  2. Rat grotto - Dec 8, 2009 at 5:48 PM

    How will Kelly install his system without a healthy quarterback during spring practice?

  3. bearcat - Dec 8, 2009 at 6:57 PM

    if kelly does leave what a slap in the face to the Cincinnati team.
    and if he is willing to do that to a 4th ranked bcs bowl team, then what would he do to a non ranked team.

  4. michael - Dec 8, 2009 at 7:19 PM

    I’m a fan of both Cincinnati and Notre Dame, so I have mixed feelings about Cincy’s coach taking over for ND. However, I don’t really get all the vitriol fans of teams tend to feel when their coach leaves for another position. When the team doesn’t do well, the fans can’t say enough bad things about their “bum” coach and can’t wait for him to be fired, but when the team is doing well, and the coach chooses to leave, the fans have nothing but bad things to say about the coach even when said coach brought success. Seems like a total double-standard to me. I think Cincy fans should just be thankful for the good times BK brought and wish him well. I wonder how many of this type of fan voluntarily left their own jobs for something “better” (better being something subjective, of course) sometime in their lives. Are they traitors because they wanted something their current position couldn’t offer?

  5. David86 - Dec 8, 2009 at 7:25 PM

    We already saw how he left such a team–when he left CMU for Cincinnati. The whole “loyalty” thing is ridiculous. It shows how people worship football, since they are treating coaches as if they are missionary priests and not guys working for (*gasp*) money. The whole thing about contracts cuts both ways–teams can fire coaches and buy them out, and coaches can “fire” teams to go to a better position, all based on what they perceive their own best interest is. Did Cincinnati offer Kelly good feelings, a sense of being fulfilled, and the undying, undivided loyalty of a wonderful, virtuous fanbase? Or did they offer him money and a step up from where he was? Folks, Kelly, like any other coach, dreams of success and a bigger and more prominent stage on which to showcase it. Remember, this whole sports/football thing is about competition, fame, and improvement–and money. Are you seriously going to praise a coach for being competetive enough to win at your school, but then deride him for wanting to leave you as he left others in the process that led to you? Pure delusion. Congratulate the man and send him on his way with gratitude for raising–where was it again?–oh, yeah, Cincinnati to national prominence.

  6. Adam - Dec 8, 2009 at 7:34 PM

    I actually saw a news report that said Brian Kelly’s twitter had been hacked AFTER the posting on Monday about him listening to ND’s offer. There is just so misinformation out there it is mind boggling. I am cautiously optimistic that Brian Kelly will be our next head coach, but until he’s on the news, standing behind the podium with Jack Swarbrick, I’m not going to get too excited.

  7. GVSU Laker - Dec 8, 2009 at 7:35 PM

    How long before Kelly bolts ND for the NFL? Seems to be is method of operation. Be careful what you wish for.

  8. cincy12 - Dec 8, 2009 at 8:08 PM

    You are exactly right. Kelly is known for his wide open, spread offense which has never been the case at N.D. Who is he going to get to be his gunslinger with the high academic standards? (that is not a dig!)He may get loads of money and be on the big stage, but he will NEVER get N.D. back to a #3 or above ranking again. The golden dome is not a “choice school” anymore for the big time recruits. Sorry, B.K., big mistake.

  9. steve3 - Dec 8, 2009 at 8:36 PM

    Michael and David86,
    Great posts! The most sensible posts I have read across a number of blogs.

  10. Kejji - Dec 8, 2009 at 8:47 PM

    I can understand Kelly taking the ND job…but I just read he said “there is no guarantee he will coach cincy. in the sugarbowl,that is B.S. if he doesn’t.. this guy is thinking of ditching these these kids?? What kind of example does that set? is that the type of man ND wants to run their program?
    ND should step up and tell him the right thing to do would be to coach these young men who have given their heart and soul to this program and not abandon them in the biggest game of their lives.

  11. colbyc - Dec 8, 2009 at 9:28 PM

    The thing is why would Cincy want to let him coach if he is going to leave the smart thing for both sides to do would be to part on good terms as soon as a decision is made and leave it at that Cincy needs to move on if Kelly asks to see the door…..
    If this man can bring ND back to the promise land I am more than ready to welcome him in with open arms

  12. Ed - Dec 8, 2009 at 9:34 PM

    You’re basing all of this on tones and mannerisms? That’s weak journalism.

  13. briancap - Dec 8, 2009 at 10:05 PM

    Charlie Weis turned out to be a scum bag. Showing up at the press conference with Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate telling them to turn Pro.

  14. robertg - Dec 8, 2009 at 10:24 PM

    1. it is nice too see that you and your staff are keeping your senses of humour about all of this garbage.
    2. swarbrick and jenkins are 2 very desperate men willing to spend and amounts of other people’s money to get out of the spotlight into which they have thrust themselves.
    3. kelly may bring along with him membership in the dishonest officiating con operating which permitted kelly to take a 4 loss cincinnati team to a bcs bowl with a phony paper record of 12-0.
    4. with swarbrick’s long term close friendships with jim delany of the big 10 conference and other con artists involved in crooked college football and sports enterprises, swarbrick would certainly like the idea of notre dame football becoming a participant in crooked college football and sports enterprises.
    5. however, that con operation will no longer be in business next season.
    6. swarbrick and jenkins have really put themselves and notre dame football and the university of notre dame in a lose/lose situation, no matter what kelly or anyone else decides to do.
    7. naturally, most people will not believe us until they see the civil court judgments and the other results.
    8. that was also the case with the con artists who used to run enron and mci worldcom, the media shills who tried to cover for them, and the millions who continued to buy enron and mci worldcom shares even after we alerted the public that the books were cooked.
    9. as the real civil court records show, the con artist and the public became believers after the juries handed down their verdicts and we took the civil judgments and seized all of the assets all over the world, even those that were tucked away in various secret offshore jurisdictions.

  15. DugoutNut - Dec 8, 2009 at 10:45 PM


  16. SeantheFan - Dec 9, 2009 at 1:59 AM

    Clausen and Tate invited Weis to their press conference. He didn’t speak. I presume it was because they felt they owed him their success – Clausen is likely the #2 or #3 quarterback, Tate’s place apparently depends on his showing at the combine. Why get pissed at Charlie Weis? He coached them well in their college career and not unreasonably gives them good advice about when to head for the NFL – which both of them were always aiming for…

  17. Bob - Dec 9, 2009 at 2:20 AM

    And once Kelly accepts the ND job, he will bring over key Cinn coaches right away. He must start his ND recruiting right away. What potential ND recruit wants to talk with a lame duck Weis asst coach now? He wants to talk with a member of Kelly’s new staff.
    Should be interesting who coaches Cinn. in the bowl game…

  18. robertg - Dec 9, 2009 at 3:03 AM

    1. from one of the key leaders of the weis and notre dame bashing con artist media shills, tom dienard, formerly of the sporting news and now shilling at sports, come the marching orders for swarbrick and jenkins to hire kelly and join crooked college football enterprises or have notre dame football banished forever from relevance in college football.
    2. dienhard pulls out all of the ammunition he can currently muster with a large picture of coach kelly at the front page of the yahoo sports ncaaf section, an article by dienard himself entitled “All-access pass to Kelly’s game plan vs. Pitt”, in which article dienhard does not mention the numerous acts of dishonest officiating which allowed kelly and cincinnati to steal a win from pitt in that game and in 3 others against other oppononts during the 2009 season, and a clickable link to an article from the sporting news declaring that kelly will be introduced as notre dame’s new coach on friday of this week.
    3. dienhard’s history of nd and weis bashing and shilling for usc and other active members of crooked college football enterprises? long and very ugly.
    4. just focusing on dienhard during the 2009 season and not certain that the dishonest officiating operation could actually succeed in stealing 6 wins from notre dame, dienard looked right into the video cameras at yahoo sports and proclaimed that notre dame’s schedule was so soft that notre dame would not be alowed into any bcs game even if notre dame actually went undefeated.
    5. dienhard’s motives? there is an element of vicious personal hatred of notre dame going back to dienhard’s days as a student at purdue. no, dienhard never played football anywhere. dienhard is one of those self proclaimed experts who knows bupkis about college football.
    6. then there are the very large under the table payoffs to dienhard( no, the owners and shareholders of yahoo, including us, were not informed of dienhard’s agenda and bonus payments while he collected a salary from rivals/yahoo) from usc boosters and other persons and entities involved in crooked college football enterprises).
    7. why were dienhard and his associates so terified of charlie weis and notre dame football with charlie weis as head coach?
    8. charlie and notre dame football with charlie as head coach were the last perceived threat to crooked college football enterprises- the last coach and football team who could actually succeed with honesty and integrity, without breaking the rules, and refusing to get involved in the dishonest officiating business.
    9. dienhard and his associates needed some assistance from within notre dame and they found that assistance with jack swarbrick and jenkins and some other current members of the notre dame administration.
    10. having eliminated charlie weis, dienhard and his associates needed to close the deal with a new notre dame coach who was already a knowing beneficiary of crooked college football enterprises and of the dishonest officiating operations.
    11. thus appeared coach brian kelly on the scene p[roclaimed as notre dame’s next football coach long before the concept of firing charlie weis ever had any real traction.
    12. does dienhard know who i am and where to find me? he certainly does and has for years and, if any of the things that i have posted about dienhard and others were not true, they had plenty of opportunities to sue me in the civil courts, but did not dare do so.
    13. why? 1st, dienhard and the others know that we have the evidence to prove the truth of every statement. 2nd, dienhard and the others know that if they start anything with me in the civil courts, my attorney friends will descend upon them all over the us, but they cannot figure out who those attorneys are since i have always taken the point on the internet and in public. 3rd, like the con artists at enron and mci worldcom, dienhard and his associates will never belive that anyone can take them down in the civil courts until the judgments come down, thjey exhaust every appeal, and we take all of his and their material possessions.
    14. will swarbrick and jenkins close the deal with kelly? sure they will. they have already painted themselves into very unpleasant corners from which they can emerge only if they hire kelly and take the spotlights off themselves.
    15. however, kelly and his wife and young children are still uncertain. they have not ruined their lives yet and they are happy where they are. how much money can they spend and really enjoy?
    16. does it really make any difference to anyone other than kelly and his wife and family whether or not kelly closes the deal with swarbrick and jenkins?
    17. no. each of the others are going down in the civil courts in any case.
    18. crooked college football and sports enterprises will not be operating next season. however, kelly and his wife and young children could emerge unscathed. on the other hand, if kelly and his wife make the wrong choices, they are doomed to go down in the civil courts with all of the others.

  19. robertg - Dec 9, 2009 at 3:43 AM

    1. are there sports other than football thast are played at notre dame with honesty and integrity and without compromising notre dame’s high academic and character standards?
    2. there most certainly are and quite a few with national championships and in the hunt almost every season?
    3. was there any lack of talent or hard work by charlie and his staff or by notre dame’s student athletes who also play football?
    4. no, the business of college football has become so rooten to the core that notre dame football can appear to succeed only if swarbrick and jenkins are permitted to drag notre dame football and the university into the sewers with crooked college football enterprises, something that swarbrick and jenkins are trying very hard to do.
    5. will the notre dame community allow swarbrick and jenkins to get away with this con operation and drag the university with them?
    6. that is a question which still has to be answered.
    7. honest college football may be back in a few years.

  20. robertg - Dec 9, 2009 at 4:34 AM

    1. notre dame football does have another option in the meantime.
    2. the same option was exercised by the ivy league schools years ago when college football became incompatible with the academic and character stadards of the ivy league schools.
    3. the ivy league schools continue to play honest college football and their alumi, fans, and student athletes have a great time.
    4. quite a few student athletes who also play football at the ivy league schools do succeed in the nfl if they want that option.
    5. notre dame’s current academic and character standards are now equal to those of the ivy league schools and notre dame plays the ivy league schools in many other sports.
    6. would notre dame’s huge worldwide fan base follow notre dame to the ivy league in football. everyone who matters would.
    7. would notre dame football bring to the ivy league the tv and other coverage that notre dame brings wherever notre dame goes. sure.
    8. would swarbrick and jenkins and certain other current members of the notre dame administration have to resign and leave notre dame? yes.
    8. would coach kelly or any other coach tainted by crooked college sports enterprises be acceptable in the ivy league? no.
    10. would such a step by notre dame into the ivy league send terror into the ranks of crooked college football enterprises? you bet it would.
    11. is the future of college football in the ivy league with notre dame added? yes, it most certainly is?
    12. if notre dame made those logical decisions, would we feel better about destroying economically in the civil courts every person and entity involved in crooked college football enterprises? yes.

  21. Mike D - Dec 9, 2009 at 6:46 AM

    Are your fingers tired? Whatever you’re smoking, I want some.

  22. DavidK - Dec 9, 2009 at 12:57 PM

    I know Kelly has done well at Cincy, but I’m uncomfortable with how he left his former team CMU before their bowl game. Now, he may do the same to Cincy. I’ve been a ND fan for 35 years and will always be, I’m just not sure this man has the ethics that ND is looking for. I would prefer Harbaugh if he were willing. Surely they are going to talk to more candidates than just Kelly.

  23. mmfink - Dec 9, 2009 at 3:46 PM

    DugoutNut – That’s just robertg being robertg. He’s passionate and entertaining. Some say he’s a bit “off.” Not me though. I don’t want to be relieved of all my monetary possessions in very public civil jury trials. That’s what happens to those that get sideways with robertg. Don’t mess with robertg, and don’t steal Jobu’s rum.
    On a more relevant note, assume for some unlikely reason Kelly falls through and ND ends up with Edsall. Imagine the reaction on the more radical discussion boards to ND hiring a former Boston College assistant coach (in 1993 no less!).

  24. leomcm - Dec 9, 2009 at 5:52 PM

    After losing to Alabama, after looking into the man’s eyes it was a time if ever there was one that UB could have been approached to become the next ND coach. But after seeing the way he adjusted so poorly to ‘Bama, after hearing about his migraines I am not sure that ND was interested. I was impressed, though, with Kelly’s adjustment to Pit. He found a way to seal the deal. “Skip” Holtz impressed me with the way his “D” stopped Houston. That was big “D”. I like Skip. He will make a good ND coach someday. He’s just about seasoned. Kelly will be coach just long enough for Skip to be ready. I really did like what I saw. He’s Notre Dame family.

  25. leo mcmahon - Dec 9, 2009 at 5:57 PM

    So sorry Pitt. Didn’t mean to call you a “Pit”. Fingers must be cold.

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