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Kelly discusses Irish season, Declan Sullivan

Nov 19, 2010, 10:57 AM EST

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On his appearance this morning with Dan Patrick, Brian Kelly covered plenty of interesting topics, discussing the season so far, the Declan Sullivan tragedy, and whether or not he’s having fun.

When asked to assess his first season in South Bend, Kelly was candid.

“It’s always about winning,” Kelly said. “I could have very easily came into this and taken the deadpan, this team was 16 and 21 over the last three years, we’ve got no experience at the quarterback position, it’s just not my style, I don’t go into the season thinking those things. We knew it was going to be a challenge, but nobody wants to hear that. We have so many fans, so many passionate fans”

Asked pointedly whether or not the season has been a good one, Kelly was emphatic.

“We went into the season with the expeectations of winning football games,” Kelly said. “By all standards and any measurements, that’s not a good season. That’s a .500 season, that’s an average season. I understand that. At the end of the day you’re still going to measured by wins and losses.”

Patrick also asked Kelly about the Declan Sullivan tragedy.

“I think I handled it the way of any person in a leadership position,” Kelly said. “I took responsibility. I think there’s a number of things that we can’t do moving forward that we have to improve on, but I recognize that everyone’s looking to point a figure. But I understand that. It comes with being the head coach at Notre Dame and it comes with when there’s a tragedy you have to provide the right leadership in that situation.”

In Kelly’s first eleven months on the job, he’s had to deal with the death of both Matt James and Declan Sullivan, as well as numerous injuries and bumps along the road. Patrick asked if Kelly was having fun this season.

“It’s been trying, there’s no question,” Kelly said. “I’m going to have fun, I think we’ve been thrown a lot. We’re going to handle it, and we’re going to eventually have the kind of fun here that I thought we would.”