Things Got Awkward When Brian Kelly Left Notre Dame

by Thad Mitchell
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(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Longtime Notre Dame Fighting Irish Head Football Coach Brian Kelly is making his way south to take over a storied program.

Kelly agreed to be the new head coach for the Louisiana State University (LSU) earlier this week. The unexpected move also sent shockwaves through college football. Kelly was in the midst of one of his best seasons at the helm of the Fighting Irish football team. Notre Dame is 11-1 on the season and has a decent shot at making the college football playoffs this year. Nevertheless, Brian Kelly will leave South Bend, Indiana and head to Baton Rouge, Louisana to coach the Tigers. He takes over for the recently fired Ed Orgeron, who guided the team to a National Championship just a few years ago. The expectation at LSU is to compete for a championship year-in and year-out and Brian Kelly will be expected to produce. He was given a 10-year contract that will earn more than $100 million before it’s up.

Likely the hardest part of a coaching change is saying goodbye to your players. Brian Kelly had to do just that when word broke that he was taking the LSU job. It didn’t go great. Kelly mumbled his way through a four-minute speech. It was caught on video and went viral.

“As you know I sent out the text trying to give you as much notice as possible given the circumstances we all know that happened on social media and information getting out,” he says in the leaked video. “We’ve been through this together, everybody in this room. I wanted to tell you face-to-face why we’re at where we’re at. And that is very simply that the past 12 years have been the most incredible 12 years of my life for me and my family.”

Brian Kelly Says Goodbye to Notre Dame Fighting Irish

The coach also continued his goodbye by explaining that no one is at fault and that Notre Dame has a special place in his heart.

“So many times people are looking for a reason to blame or there was a reason for something,” Brian Kelly continues. “There was nothing here but first-class in everything Notre Dame has done for me and my family. I saw my time here as a blessing working with incredible men on a day-to-day basis. There comes a time when you look in your life for another opportunity and I felt like it was time in my life for another challenge. And I saw that opportunity in a very short window and felt that it was best for me and my family to pursue a new challenge. You guys have been the backbone of the program and what you’ve accomplished and will continue to do that.”

The new challenge for Brian Kelly resides with his new team — the LSU Tigers.

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