Dec 12, 2010, 12:47 PM EDT
One year ago yesterday, Jack Swarbrick introduced Brian Kelly as the new head coach of the Notre Dame football program.
“We followed our criteria, we stuck to it, and at every step along the way, it kept taking me back to the same place,” Swarbrick said. “It kept taking me back to the conclusion that Brian Kelly was the right person to lead this program. He was the first person I talked to. He was the only person I offered this opportunity to. And it was a compelling case throughout… He was the right man at the right time for Notre Dame. And we are very fortunate to have him lead our program.”
As proud programs like Florida and Miami scramble to fill coaching vacancies, it’s fun to look back at the hectic process that happened this time last year in South Bend that culminated in the Irish naming the reigning national head coach of the year its man in charge. As teams like Florida scramble to name Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp their head coach and Miami interviews a coach from the Canadian Football League, Irish fans might reconsider just how well Jack Swarbrick did to walk away with a head coach with 20 years of experience and a track record like Kelly’s.
While the past year as been a winding road filled with ups and downs on and off the field, Notre Dame is finally benefiting from a December not filled with turmoil, and the results on the recruiting trail are telling. The Irish coaching staff is on the road not just defending their program, but spreading a message that has resulted in high-profile commitments like quarterback Everett Golson.
As Michigan fans wonder what it’ll be like with Brady Hoke potentially their next head coach, Notre Dame gets their first relatively boring December in three years. While it might make for some quieter headlines, it’s much better for a football program that finally has some stability.