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Kelly hits all the right notes

Dec 11, 2009, 5:00 PM EDT

Introductory press conferences are interesting beasts. We learn about things like ideals and goals, philosophies and mentors, and for the most part we all do our best to buy in. With a guy like Brian Kelly behind the microphone, it’s pretty easy to buy what he’s selling.

We’ll have plenty of time to discuss how Kelly’s offense will fit in South Bend, and how important Kelly’s choice of defensive coordinator will be, but for now, let’s enjoy how well Kelly played his introduction, which according to the folks at, was streamed online by 74,026 people.

On a human level, Kelly did a great job trying to diffuse the negativity that’s come from his decision to abandon the Cincinnati program before their bowl game. It couldn’t have been an easy decision, but Kelly was smart to immediately bring up the family aspect of the decision, taking the spotlight away from cut-throat business move. The introduction to his wife and three children was an especially nice touch to go along as a visual with this emotional story.

“You come home as a parent and you’re going to tell your kids that they’re moving and they love the friends and they love the community, and as we started to tell them, tears began to well up in their eyes, and Gracie came up to me, grabbed me, hugged me and said, ‘Dad, I’m so happy for you. I know this has been your dream. And I’m sad for me just for a little bit. Is that okay?’ And I kissed her and I said, ‘You know what, that’s what is so magical about this is that my kids know this was a dream for me.'”

Kelly also took his time at the podium to remind us all of yesteryear, back to times when the Irish were on top of college football, and scored bonus points not just with mention of names like Lou Holtz, Ara Parseghian, Joe Montana, and Father Hesburgh, but went to the next level for extra credit with hard-core Domers with a Lindsey Nelson name-drop.

Kelly was bold, but he wasn’t arrogant. He didn’t promise schematic advantages, but player development. He backed away from his background as an offensive mastermind, and smartly talked about how he’ll be intricately involved in all three aspects of the game. He came in with buzzwords like RKGs — right kind of guys — and assured us that he’d be ready, willing, and able to recruit the same type of great student-athletes that Notre Dame brought in under Charlie Weis.

Kelly didn’t shy away from the challenges that are “unique” to the Notre Dame job. And he was even smart enough to avoid lobbing a land-mine out there like “9-3 isn’t good enough,” although he certainly did come close by referencing 8-4 when he talked about the challenges that come along with coaching the Irish.

“First and foremost, restoring the traditions that we all know about and the history. Those aren’t the 8-and-4 years, those are the National Championship years. So any time you’re talking about restoring a program and the challenges, it’s not about winning the Conference Championship, it’s about winning championships and being in the BCS and being nationally prominent. That’s the challenge. We’ve got to get to work on that. When I refer to the challenge, it’s getting to that high bar that has been set at Notre Dame for Notre Dame football.”

I found one part of Kelly’s remarks to be a perfect example of the new coach’s attention to detail and his ability to handle the media scrutiny.

“My media consultant had all these notes for me, and I’m supposed to pay attention to all these notes that were drawn up for me, but there’s one thing that has driven me through my career, and that is that I speak from my heart. I’m passionate about it, and really want to talk to everybody out there about why I am so honored to be the head football coach here at Notre Dame.”

If you’re looking for a good reason to have hope in Brian Kelly, here’s your answer. He’s smart enough to have a media consultant, and he’s smart enough to let us all know that he’s got a consultant, but he doesn’t care — he’s going to speak from the heart. Is it a bit cliched and contrived? Absolutely. But is it what Notre Dame fans need to hear? You bet.

Brian Kelly will be judged like all the coaches at Notre Dame before him: by how he does on the football field. But after a few hours on the job, any worries that people may have had of Kelly not being prepared for a job on the biggest stage in college football should have been alleviated.  

  1. Adam R - Dec 11, 2009 at 7:07 PM

    I’m not gonna lie. I’m in love with Brian Kelly.

  2. sharkey - Dec 11, 2009 at 7:19 PM

    “He was the first person I talked to, he was the only person I offered this oportunity to…”
    Without a doubt this is Swarbrick’s pick considering Stoops and Meyer at least seemed to have left themselves open to be approached with their “no, but maybe” statements.

  3. JRP - Dec 11, 2009 at 7:43 PM

    Kelly lied to his players at UC. That makes him a jerk.

  4. JRP - Dec 11, 2009 at 7:55 PM

    Kelly lied to his players at UC. That makes him a jerk.

  5. TLNDMA - Dec 11, 2009 at 8:48 PM

    Rockne lied to his players about the Gipper. Perspective is important when evalutaing such things. Considering the circumstances, I have to think Kelly lied for the same reason as Knute, to win a football game.(Pitt) I can understand his former players being emotional about it, but not fans on this site, who have somehow come to conclude some evil intentions on Kelly’s part. I believe the kids at Cincy will come to understand their coaches motives for not being truthful with them, before the Pitt game. I’m not so sure the people on this site will ever ‘get it’.

  6. mrrandolph - Dec 12, 2009 at 9:47 AM

    I know this is a little off subject. But, can you imagine Golden Tate in the spread offense being used the same way Percy Harvin was used at Florida. They are even similar. 5’11” 195 lbs. 4.4-40yd dash. Wow….sounds like a Heisman year to me.

  7. DocSavage - Dec 12, 2009 at 11:44 AM

    Those Cincy boys believed in Brian Kelly’s pious preaching of “Commitment” and “Teamwork.” They believed in him and worked their butts off every day.
    But NOW that those Cincy boys finally get to play Florida at the Sugar Bowl, that skunk-brain hypocrite Brian Kelly BETRAYS his boys, BETRAYS his faithful coaching staff, and runs off A WHORING with Notre Dame, leaving his own boys to die on Bowl Day!!
    Brian Kelly is the Tiger Woods of college football, and once again, Notre Dame is the worthless hoochie-girl. (The BCS and NBC/MSNBC are the pimps, of course.)
    But that’s okay. Jimmy Boy and Golden Boy are gone, so Brian Kelly and his little hoochie ND will get to enjoy plenty of PUNISHING DEFEATS next year!!!!

  8. TLNDMA - Dec 12, 2009 at 12:24 PM


  9. NDIRISH4242 - Dec 12, 2009 at 3:22 PM

    He left for a better job and more money just like you would if presented with the opportunity.

  10. Brad - Dec 14, 2009 at 3:21 PM

    Now you have a new coach and you will STILL SUCK!!!!

  11. robertg - Dec 14, 2009 at 7:00 PM

    1. purcell, swarbrick, jenkins, and kelly are the greatest threats ever faced by notre dame football and by the university of notre dame.
    2. we will cut out those cancers in the civil courts.
    3. however, it sure would be great for notre dame if the notre dame community acted before we hit those con artists in the civil courts and demonstrated that notre dame is really still notre dame.
    4. notre dame and its core values and endowment have been hijacked by some real con artists and notre dame’s name and heritage and traditions are currently being severely damaged by these con artists.
    GO IRISH!!!

  12. leomcm - Dec 14, 2009 at 10:07 PM

    I think you protest too much. Would you keep CW? Would you just get rid of the “greatest threats ever faced by Notre Dame football and the University? I’m waiting to be a part of this. Maybe a class action or something like that. Who are pure of heart to lead this team that Swarbrick overlooked? I don’t think it was such a bad choice. But that’s just me – on the outside looking in. I’m just not illuminated.

  13. leomcm - Dec 14, 2009 at 10:11 PM

    I think you protest too much. Would you keep CW? Would you just get rid of the “greatest threats ever faced by Notre Dame football and the University? I’m waiting to be a part of this. Maybe a class action or something like that. Who are pure of heart to lead this team that Swarbrick overlooked? I don’t think it was such a bad choice. But that’s just me – on the outside looking in. I’m just not illuminated.

  14. leomcm - Dec 14, 2009 at 10:12 PM

    I think you protest too much. Would you keep CW? Would you just get rid of the “greatest threats ever faced by Notre Dame football and the University? I’m waiting to be a part of this. Maybe a class action or something like that. Who are pure of heart to lead this team that Swarbrick overlooked? I don’t think it was such a bad choice. But that’s just me – on the outside looking in. I’m just not illuminated.

  15. KUBU2 - Dec 14, 2009 at 11:01 PM

    To DocSavage,
    Seriously!! Are you kidding me???

  16. mike - Dec 15, 2009 at 12:35 AM

    He’s a Kelly. He’s a Catholic. He dreamed about coaching Notre Dame.
    He honored Caharlie Weis.
    He’s met all my requirements.
    The rest of you shut your pie holes.

  17. Coley White - Dec 15, 2009 at 1:55 AM

    Best of luck Coach Kelly. Im only sad, for the loss of Golden and Clausen. I think the 2010 season is going to be difficult enough with the learning curve, and to lose such talent makes it look like another long season, if not two. Always, NOTRE DAME

  18. robertg - Dec 15, 2009 at 3:00 AM

    1.gee, mike and kubu2, what great defenses in real civil actions in very public jury trials, which is were all of these issues will be decided based on the expert and other evidence.
    2. we have taken the trouble to post a lot of incontrovertible evidence and links to much more so that the notre dame community could inform themselves and cut these cancers out of notre dame before our civil lawsuits hit these con artists.
    3. of course, charlie and his staff should still be coaching at notre dame and purcell, swarbrick, and their minions should have expressed their full support for charlie and his staff and publicly attacked the current corrupt officiating, rules enforcement, and rankings systems immediately after the 1st win was stolen from notree dame by a crooked big 10 conference officiating and tech review crew.
    4. in fact, if notre dame really did still stand for any of the core values for which notre dame claims to stand when soliciting donations from the public, this is the only course of action which notre dame could have taken in these circumstances.
    5. when former ad kevin white quit notre dame and left for duke, the key issues were complte lack of honesty and integrity and loyalty in the notre dame administration.
    6. then, phil purcell appeared on the scene after being kicked out as ceo of morgan stanley for nearly wrecking that institution.
    7. purcell actually made a donation to notre dame which is why the purcell pavilion is named after purcell.
    8. however, purcell’s real goal was to get control of notre dame’s $7 billion endowment( now down to $5.5 million per those cooked books) and to handpick notre dame’s next ad, which is exactly what purcell did in picking his long time buddy jack swarbrick who purcell well knew would follow purcell’s instructions.
    9. since purcell has spent his entire career cheating other people out of their money, purcell concluded that, instead of fighting the current corrupt officiating, rules enforcement and rankings systems, purcell and his lackeys decided that, since charlie and his staff would not cooperate with their plans and join crooked college foiotball enterprises and cheat to win just to win games on paper.
    10. they needed a coach who would cooperate in their cheat to win plans just as usc needed pete carroll to dop exactly that at usc.
    11. they sure found the right coach for their purposes in kelly who was taught how to cheat by his father, a corrupt boston alderman.
    12. is the kelly choice a complete betrayal of every core value for which notre dame claims to stand when soliciting donations from the public and students and student athletes for notre dame?
    13. yes, the kelly choice is exactly that much of a betrayal.
    14. although some of my colleagues chose to do the enron asnd mci world cases as class actions which we won. we no longer do these projects as class actions since our associates who favored the class action approach have now all seen the light.
    15. we take out the bad guys and entities one at a time in public jury trials all over the us, with extreme economic prejudice in the civil courts and we have never lost a jury trial because we never take on cases unless the evidence is overwhelming and the bad guys really are very bad.
    16. notre dame has a fine law school and a fine business school to protect notre dame from hijacking by these con artists before we hit them with our civil rico lawsuits so that we do not have to involve the university of notre dame in those lawsuits.
    17. either the notre dame community cuts out the cancers before we hit purcell, swarbrick, jenkins, and kelly with their own personal civil rico lawsuits or the notre dame community does not and takes its own economic whacks in the civil courts, along with every other person and entity involved in crooked college football enterprises, a multibillion dollar nationwide con operation.
    18. since there are thousands of people who got caught up in crooked college football enterprises who deserve a chance to settle out of court, tell the truth, produce the documents, and get another shot at life and, in such projects, we always complete that process before we hit the no settlement possible people, such as purcell, swarbrick, jenkins, and kelly.
    19. because the time for completion of the settlement is possible phase in such projects can never be fixed with certainly, we can only tell the notre dame community that the sooner they take action to cut the cancers out of notre dame themselves, the better things will be for the university of notre dame.
    20. at usc, long term president and member of usc’s board stephen samples has submiitted his resignation due to the failure of the usc community to kick pete carroll and his crooked football prgram off campus.
    21. will the members of notre dame’s board of trustees and current administration do the same after we make the evidence available to them and give each of them, except for purcell, swarbrick ,and jenkins, opportunities to settle out of court?
    22. we really do not know at this point. both ken lay of enron and bernie ebbers of mci worldcom had plenty of warnings and chances to settle our civil rico lawsuits, but they chose not to do so and suffered economic exterminations in the civil courts.
    23. however, we do know that purcell, swarbrick, jenkins, and kelly have put notre dame’s economic and legacy future in severe economic danger motivated only by personal greed and to get power rushes.
    GO IRISH!!!

  19. Sam - Dec 15, 2009 at 9:39 AM

    All of your ranting just proves that lawyers are bottom feeders and the lowest form of human life.

  20. ourlady$ - Dec 15, 2009 at 10:18 AM

    This is it. It’s been a longtime coming. The foundation has been set and we welcome Brian Kelly and his family with open arms.
    GO Irish!!!!

  21. StephenOfTroy - Dec 15, 2009 at 10:56 AM

    Sam, at the risk of making the universe come to a screeching, grinding halt, I have to disagree with you and (sort of) side with Robert T. Gilleran.
    His ranting doesn’t prove anything about lawyers.
    Robert is one single solitary lawyer. There are millions of lawyers in the world. If one doctor is a quack or someone who performs unnecessary surgeries just so he can buy a Porsche, that doesn’t mean all doctors are bad.
    Beyond that, Robert is a disbarred hack. If you took the world’s worst architect and let him ramble on forever about how the best buildings are single-story mud huts reinforced with camel dung, that would tell you nothing about the value of architects in general.
    Your logic is not well-founded. You’re sort of on the right track but you’re going well past the train station. Robert IS a bottom feeder. But he’s not the lowest form of human life. That would have to be terrorists who kill civilians who are lined up to volunteer for police work in war-torn Iraq, for example.

  22. StephenOfTroy - Dec 15, 2009 at 11:21 AM

    Robert T. Gilleran, you know I hate to correct you on any of your gibberish (because correcting each of your errors, omissions, and mistakes would take even longer than it takes you to write your gibberish posts). But you can’t take a potshot at Dr. Sample (not “samples”) without getting my ire up.
    Dr. Steven Sample is stepping down as USC President because he has been on the job for 19 years. That’s more than twice as long as the average American college president. He’s achieved dramatic gains for the university in prestige, academic rankings, endowments, community involvement, you name it. He thinks it is time for fresh leadership to continue the gains he made.
    And the man has Parkinson’s disease. You should be ashamed.
    I was lucky enough to work for him when I was a student at USC. I don’t give a rip if you bankrupt me in the civil courts with very public jury trials for having the temerity to tell you that you’re a burned-out never-was nutburger with extra cheese. But for the love of God, all creatures great and small, leave Dr. Sample out of your gibberish posts.

  23. joe from Dublin - Dec 15, 2009 at 2:37 PM

    There was a great interview this morning with Mike and Mike on ESPN with Brian Kelly. He has said all the right things thus far. I can not wait to see Crist, Rudolph, Allen and Floyd in the spread. I am a little nervous about Hendrix staying committed. Word is that he is on the fence big time.

  24. MN Irish - Dec 15, 2009 at 4:41 PM

    Mike Kelly = Flavor of the Month. I guess two years ago we would have hired Mark Mangino who was coach of the year.
    Urban Meyer was/is the only person who can restore the Irish to National Prominence.

  25. robertg - Dec 15, 2009 at 5:55 PM

    1. with the announcement of the expansion of the big 10 to the big 12( they will still call it the big 10) by swarbrick’s long time close friend, con artist big 10 commissioner jim delany, the long term plans for notre dame that purcell and jenkins have been putting into place ever since purcell installed his flunkey swarbrick as notre dame’s ad in 2008 become more obvious.
    2. naturally, these jerks had to arrange to get rid of charlie and his staff, who would have no part in moving notre dame into the sewers of crooked college football and sports enterprises.
    3. that is one reason why none of us heard even a peep out of swarbrick or purcell or jenkins when one of delany’s crooked big 10 conference game and tech review officiating crews stole the 1st of 6 wins this season from notre dame at michigan or after any one of the other stolen wins in 2009.
    4. the national coordinator for crooked college football enterprises? delany’s long time friend and associate dave parry, formerly in charge of football officiating quality control in the big 10 conference and now running the ncaa level college football officiating llc( they have a website), jointly owned and operated by the ncaa and by the big 6 power conferences.
    5. the problems with this planned con operation in addition to us?
    6. notre dame has remained a small school with a small alumni base.
    7. notre dame’s worldwide fan base who have admired notre dame for everything good and honest for which notre dame has stood in the past and who have loyally supported notre dame with large donations would have to be conned into continuing their support for notre dame, something which will never happen as long as purcell and swarbrick and jenkins and kelly are calling the shots.
    9. the amounts of money involved for the proprietors of crooked college football and sports enterprises? billions every year.
    GO IRISH!!!

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