Brian Kelly is Notre Dame’s football coach—a statement that many Irish fans only half-heartedly endorse as the team’s four-win season comes to a close. But athletic director Jack Swarbrick has already stated that Kelly will return for his eighth season and lead the program next season, and Kelly made it clear that was his intention after coaching the season finale against USC.
But even after making that commitment clear in his postgame comments (see the above video), it didn’t take long after the team bus rolled towards LAX to rev up the rumor mill once again.
Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde got it started, with the following headline-grabbing report:
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly has reached out through representatives to explore coaching options outside Notre Dame, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Not to be out-scooped, ESPN’s Brett McMurphy essentially repeated the same report, though used the following language:
Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly, through his representatives, is exploring options to possibly leave the Fighting Irish program, a source said Saturday.
McMurphy also went live on SportsCenter with the below report, as ESPN bottom line continually scrolled throughout the evening.
But not long after the team plane landed in South Bend, Kelly released another statement, via Sports Information Director Michael Bertsch:
“I felt that I was clear with the media following yesterday’s game at USC when I was asked about my desire to be back as the head football coach at Notre Dame, but in light of media reports that surfaced afterward, let me restate my position,” Kelly said in the statement. “I have not been, am not, and will not be interested in options outside of Notre Dame. I’m fully committed to leading this program in the future.”