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  • The Brian Kelly Spectrum

    by Mike Coffey

    This originally was a post on Rock’s House, but I figured the more info the better.

    First, let’s establish where you were on Monday night before all this happened:

    (a) I liked Brian Kelly as a hire originally and still like him

    (b) I liked Brian Kelly as a hire originally but now have my doubts

    (c) I didn’t like Brian Kelly as a hire originally, but feel better about him now

    (d) I didn’t like Brian Kelly as a hire originally and still don’t

    Now, how has the last week affected you?

    (1) Brian Kelly interviewing with the Eagles doesn’t bother me at all. This is a business and he has a right to look out for himself. He’ll probably do it again, and it won’t bother me then either.

    (2) Brian Kelly interviewing with the Eagles doesn’t bother me at all. This is a business and he has a right to look out for himself. He’ll probably do it again, and it won’t bother me then either as long as he keeps winning.

    (3) Brian Kelly interviewing with the Eagles right now doesn’t bother me at all. This is a business and he has a right to look out for himself. But if he makes a habit out of this, it’s going to bother me.

    (4) Brian Kelly interviewing with the Eagles bothers me. I understand this is a business and he has a right to look out for himself, but when you interview for your next job at the first sign of success at your current job, it doesn’t make your current job look very good. I’m willing to look past this one, but if he does it again, it’s going to affect how I feel about him.

    (5) Brian Kelly interviewing with the Eagles bothers me. I understand this is a business and he has a right to look out for himself, but when you interview for your next job at the first sign of success at your current job, it doesn’t make your current job look very good. This has affected how I feel about him, and I don’t hold him in as high regard as I did before.

    (6) Brian Kelly interviewing with the Eagles bothers me. I don’t care if this is a business, ND coaches are expected to be better than the rest. I’m willing to look past this one, but if he does it again, it’s going to affect how I feel about him.

    (7) Brian Kelly interviewing with the Eagles bothers me. I don’t care if this is a business, ND coaches are expected to be better than the rest. This has affected how I feel about him, and I don’t hold him in as high regard as I did before.

    (8) Brian Kelly interviewing with the Eagles pisses me off. I don’t care if this is a business, ND coaches are expected to be better than the rest. He may win going forward, but he’s lost me personally.

    (9) Brian Kelly interviewing with the Eagles pisses me off. I don’t care if this is a business, ND coaches are expected to be better than the rest. Jack should have fired him rather than let him string ND along for four days.

    Responses in the comment, por favor.

    111 Responses to “The Brian Kelly Spectrum”

    1. Brian Murray says:

      a, 3

      • 8 (b). The ‘get use to it’ attitude, stupid play calling year #1 costing a win against a nobody team, ‘not my guys’ after the USC debacle in ’11, not playing Hughes (more)..this one is it..during national cahmpionship week Kelly is thinking abount interviewing for the NFL ??? Kelly’s time at ND does not end well…we will see more of the same.

      • Closest description is #5 but the part that bothers me the most is his unavailability for several days after the interview. You would have to be living under a rock to think the story wasn’t going to leak out and it was inexcusable to leave staff, players and recruits in limbo at a critical time in the recruiting cycle especially after the BCS debacle. If he gets new contract extension it had better be one with a big buyout if he leaves before the end of the contract so ND’s opponents in the recruiting war don’t continue to use this against us every year .

    2. Dan Snethen says:

      C4…a rather explosive point of view…GO IRISH!!!

    3. a, 2

    4. a, 3

    5. I liked Kelly as a hire,but his actions and comments on and off the field have shown he has no loyalty to his players or Notre Dame.I agree it will not end well for Kelly at ND.

    6. Brian Kelly interviewing with the Eagles was a ploy. We should hear shortly that Kelly will receive a contract extension with a nice raise. He was NEVER going to the Eagles.

    7. My selections on the “spectrum” are (b), 5. But the justification for it is a bit more compliated…I’m not upset that the man wants to explore other possibilities. I’m upset that the timing of the interview makes it seem as though this exploration was already in the works when the team was being asked to focus exclusively on game prep, and most of all, I’m upset because it smacks of hypocrisy – when the same coach has requested that his staff communicate with him about any opportunities they want to explore ahead of time. When you interview and then take off to an ‘undisclosed location out of the country,’ and leave colleagues and players in the lurch – that’s what really dissapoints.

    8. A5

    9. Between a & b. On 3. I am 69 and this does bother me but as long as he keeps on winning – you gotta do what you gotta do.

      When is this going to go away so we can start arguing about the recruits?

    10. a) Kelly was clearly the best choice when we got him. He had success on the college level, which is something we couldn’t say since the Holtz days (Willingham didn’t have the success Kelly had). And I still like him, meaning, he’s still the fit for ND. (You could read this as, who the heck else are we gonna hire in mid January and still lock up the current class?)

      5) This absolutely has to bother any Irish fan. The day after our team looks pathetic in the TITLE GAME, one we’ve waited 24 years for, the next friggin day, he’s already looking to “better deal” us? After 3 years? With the No. 1 class on the way? With his comments on Saturday before the game when now we know that he and Swarbrick already new about the Eagles’ interest? Further, there’s NO WAY he didn’t have this scheduled when he made those comments.

      How can you not feel sick as ND fan after watching our team look so poorly on the biggest stage the day before? And when Swarbrick already had put other there the extension talks for Kelly and his staff, and that those conversations began in December? There was no need for leverage, no ploy for a bigger contract: this was all about interest in the NFL. To do so, at this time, is incredibly poor form.

    11. A-4. Good summary.
      Jury’s still out on BK – plenty of good mixed w/ some bad, on the field & off. Bottom line to me is that intent behind an action is hard to judge, especially w/out time & history to fully put things in perspective. If he stays another decade/till retirement, winning the right way & not taking another interview that whole time… then it’s easy enough to look back at the Philly interview and shrug it off. If he signs a new deal w/ ND, then bolts for the NFL after next year, then it’s easy to look back & call him a d-bag.
      If I had to predict now, I’d give him the benefit of the doubt & say his intentions likely weren’t too bad, but his handling of it all was poor. He’s still learning. What’d Holtz say about things never being as good or as bad as they seem?

    12. p dureska says:


    13. Kevin Byrnes says:

      Over the years I have had several calls from “competitors” asking me to join them, and as a courtesy–and learning experience–I have agreed, in some cases (not all) to have a meeting to discuss. It doesn’t mean I was yearning to move on up to the East side. Without access to the brain of Kelly, I don’t know what his total motivation was. He seems to portray it as, a pro organization said, come and take a look because we like you, and he took a look. Now, maybe the truth was, he wanted the Eagles job so bad it hurt, but we have no way of knowing. His explanation has to be taken at face value, because it’s very plausible.

      My answer: a modest “a,” and then 2/3 (I think 2 and 3 are not mutually exclusive).

    14. b, 7,8 If he wants the NFL, leave now. The timing of the interview was horrendous. He’s two-faced and I no longer trust him. Saturday leaving was not an option, Monday during the game he knew where he would be the next day. I feel for the players, recuits, asst. coached….now each year it will be speculation that he leaves.

    15. a,4.
      I do give him the benefit of the doubt because he made so many references to wanting to have records like Stoops or Saban, re longevity. But there is no doubt that the optics of this were bad.

    16. GraceHallChapel86 says:

      B, 5

      I have never doubted Kelly’s coaching ability, but I have doubted his character. College ball is a game of the heart more than NFL ball is. It bothers me that his interests were divided in the week leading up to the Alabama game. All that his players were focused on (ostensibly, and certainly according to Kelly’s design) was the game–but Kelly was juggling the game and his questions/talking points for a January 8 NFL interview. The chemistry of Jan 7 HAD to have been affected by what he (but not his players) knew was going down within 24 hours of kickoff in Miami.

      Bad form. Hard for me to conclude anything but that it did affect his focus and therefore coaching performance. I don’t know about “ND coaches are supposed to be better,” but I do know ANY coach shouldn’t handle the weeks framing a NC game this way.

    17. A Notre Dame Man is someone who cares about things that need caring about… who refuses to accept things that are wrong, even though accepting them would be easier. BK may be a great coach, but he is not a true Notre Dame Man.

      • Do you make fun of Michigan fans when they talk that way about their alma mater?
        Our previous hire was a Notre Dame Man, how’d that work out?
        College football head coach is too important of a position to limit your criteria to “Notre Dame Man” or “Michigan Man” or “(insert school name) Man”. Is Saban an “Alabama man”? Was Meyer a “Florida Man”? Of course they aren’t. Those schools had the good sense to simply go for the best coach available.

        We have a coach who has had 2 undefeated regular seasons in the last 4 years, at 2 different schools. That is the kind of rare success that only guys like Saban, Meyer, and Carroll have exceeded (among current coaches), and now people are shocked to find out that he is a mercenary just like they are.

    18. a, 3

    19. Johnn Trotter says:

      As a 40+ year fan, I lean toward option 5. JT in Indy

    20. a,8. He showed his true stripes. He can talk all he wants about ND being a dream position, as soon as a “better” offer comes around, he’s gone. Jack should maintain a strong pipeline of candidates since BK made it clear he’ll bolt for the next shiny object.

    21. Vairish84 says:

      I will join the (initial) plurality of responses at (a) (3).

    22. Atlantadomer says:

      C – as in Charlie Strong

    23. C, 3(ish). I’m not bothered that he interviewed as much as by the typically ham-fisted way he managed the public perception of it. It annoys me that he is as bad at it as he is, considering the high-profile position he occupies.

    24. a. 4. I believe he took the interview as a courtesy to his agent who set it up – maybe as a favor to someone in the Eagles’ Org.? He kept it under wraps so as not to affect incoming and potential recruits. As long as he stays with his “program” of player recruiting and development he should equal that Alabama coach.

    25. (b) 5

      I had no problems with Kelly being hired. I think he has made some mistakes over his tenure, but who doesn’t make mistakes. He had some extraordinary bad luck in his first two years and a reversal of fortune in his third. I think the decision to interview with the Eagles was self-serving because I don’t think he has any intention of coaching in the NFL. So what was it really about? In any case, while I have no problem with him continuing as head coach. I do have some doubts after the mauling his players took from Alabama. That first series on offense was bewildering to me. Over six weeks to prepare for that first series and that’s what he comes up with – especially after watching the Alabama offense run right through the teeth of his vaunted defense like a hot knife through butter.

    26. A3

    27. There were not enough choices at the top. I was underwhelmed by the hire initially. His boneheadedness the first two seasons did nothing to help this impression. After this year, I was starting to give him the benefit of the doubt. Any goodwill he built up with me was lost with his actions this week. I’ve always suspected he was a smarmy politician and now I’m convinced.

    28. A, 4.

    29. A, 5. The timing and nature of this whole episode was incredibly disappointing. I will have a hard time trusting him in the future.

    30. I was initially upset that we might lose such a great coach, and very relieved when he decided to stay. However, since then I read an interview with Swarbrick who explained the situation very well. He wasn’t worried that Kelly would leave. And he doesn’t mind people finding out what else is out there because he believes ND has such a great draw to a coach that a coach will tend to stick with ND. He also said he was not leveraged into a bigger contract since he talked to Kelly about reworking his contract before the Eagles called. After reading that interview, I was OK with Kelly interviewing. Losing Anzalone may not have been related to Kelly interviewing – Kelly has done such a great job recruiting in the past and there are always a few switches (both to and from ND) in the last minute.

      • borromini says:

        It’s already been reported on several Irish recruiting sites that Anzalone switching due to Kelly’s possible departure was just a convenient cover story. AA had decided before the NC game to switch to the Gators…just benefited from the Kelly/Eagles episode as a way to save face.

    31. a, 4.

    32. Jeanne Adler says:

      Very disappointing

    33. b, 6 & 8.

      Yes, ND (at least many fans I know) places itself above the rest (e.g. not compromising its educational standards, Ara being hired only to be fired if he ever cheated, etc.) … and so should all of its employees.

      Yet, even without that, Kelly publicly states he is staying and wants to stay here before the BCS championship game only to then jump sufficiently quickly to get figurative windburn at the Eagles interview immediately thereafter.

      He hasn’t won anything.

      Get back to work Mr. Kelly and off your high horse. The good Lord gave us twice as many ears than tongues so we would speak only 1/2 the amount of time we would listen.

    34. (3) (a) – I’m okay with him testing the waters in the NFL. Honestly, the Eagles are a good fit for his type of offense and he would make more $$$, so yeah, I don’t mind. However, I hope he doesn’t make a habit out of this. I would rather have a good coach that is committed to his program (Les Miles / LSU – him squashing rumors of a move to scUM still resonates with me) instead of a good coach that is wishy washy at best when it comes to his program (Chip Kelly / Oregon – how many NFL vacancies has the guy interviewed for?!).

    35. A,2 and A,3. As someone else mentioned, they’re not mutually exclusive. I don’t think it’ll be an annual thing, nor do I think he’s committed for life. Of course I don’t WANT him to interview with NFL teams so it bothers me to some degree just like any other bad news bothers me but I accept that this is a byproduct of success in bigtime college football. I do think that ND is a better job than anything in the NFL because if he’s successful at ND he’ll have public speaking gigs for the rest of his life.

      I don’t subscribe to the romantic notion that an ND coach must be a “loyal son”. Sounds a bit like those guys we make fun of who say “He’s not a Michigan man.” By the time Weis had failed, I had frankly had enough of the cliche central casting criteria that was discussed whenever there was a coaching search (Is he Irish, is he Catholic, is he named after a Pope, is he an alum, does his alarm clock play the Victory March?). Screw all that. When Kelly was first hired, after watching him do the bullshit dance with his comments to the media during the last weeks of Cincy’s undefeated season until he was hired, I remember telling a coworker “Kelly seems like an asshole, and I think that’s exactly what they need.” Seems like all the best coaches are mercenary a-holes who don’t exhibit a fraction of the loyalty they demand of their players – Saban, Meyer, Carroll, Petrino, etc. Kelly is cut from the same cloth.

      • Jim Walsh 1966 says:

        What I did not appreciate at the time and still don’t was the choice Coach Kelly made to leave Cincinnati right after it had finished undefeated and was BCS bowl-bound. He left the TEAM for the glitter of ND. (JS may have made the offer on condition that he leave immediately) I contend that BK should have stayed and finished with his guys. They had worked hard, had bonded in a special way and deserved to have their coach with them, even if was to be his farewell. They were going up against a formidable opponent in Florida, coached by UM. Coach Kelly would undoubtedly have endeared himself if he went into that game and battled down to the last second. (Holtz style) Perhaps he would have learned something about preparation against an elete opponent that would have been useful later ( this year). This past week’s drama over an NFL job interview and protracted silence hurt others unnecessarily. The seeds of mistrust have been planted. BK will need to work hard to heal that wound. Going forward, ND has to learn to make smart adjustments in tough games and keep battling. Our goal is to return to the BIg dance and win. BK can get us there.

    36. I’ve seen a lot of comments by people saying they are upset by the timing being so soon after the national championship game. I actually think the opposite is true. With the obvious caveat that the best possible scenario is one in which he doesn’t interview at all, and the acknowledgement that January is generally the only time of the year that NFL interviews happen, I am glad he started this interview process as fast as freaking possible after the NC game. Because the later he starts it, the closer he gets to signing day.

      One could make the argument that if he waited he could have saved Anzalone’s recruitment (we don’t know if this is true or not), but how ethical would that look if he interviews with an NFL team the day after the early entries sign their LOI’s? I think that timing would have been much much worse, does anyone disagree?

    37. Classof69 says:

      A. 5

    38. Four Horseman of the Apocalypse says:

      4. above. This is VERY strange in that here’s a coach who spent 12 years at Grand Valley State earning a very “meager” coaching salary, then starts climbing the coaching ladder until he gets the Notre Dame job….So now Kelly’s interested in coaching the Eagles, where by the way, there are a lot of coaches that are more efficient and further developed than he is…Maybe he realizes N.D. has a long way to go to get to an Alabama level, maybe he’s reaching out while the iron is “hot”, or maybe Kelly’s “ultimate” coaching position is an NFL job (highly doubtful based on his prior history). The obvious answer seems to be economics….If someone wants to double your already large salary, you listen…As someone stated earlier, Jack Swarbrick should keep a list of potential new coaching candidates on speed dial….The gut feeling is that Kelly leaves in a couple of years, and this hurts recruiting in the long run A LOT….

      • Hydrostan says:

        What bothers me is that he threatened his coachs that if they interviewed for another job, they will not be coming back to South Bend. So then he does it!

    39. NDIrishlou0207 says:

      A,2 It is what it is. It happens in every line of business.

    40. Pls stop the sanctimonous ND man stuff. Love ND as much as anybody, but cant blame BK for looking at the NFL. Get us to another BCS game next and don’t lay an egg similar to NC game and all will be forgiven.

    41. C5

    42. a 3 – great hire but don’t make a habit of interviewing for other jobs. Just to point out, BC made a terrible mistake firing their coach for interviewing with the JETS and they have not recovered yet.

    43. (D) (9)
      Totally unacceptable to keep quiet for 5days. Then Saturday you come out and say how much you love notre dame. Please stop the b.s. Brian Kelly is a complete phony. Hope swarbrick keeps a short list handy , however this is his “boy he hired” . Expect a long leash. Hope the Irish win even with judas at the helm.

    44. a, 9

    45. As a friend of mine reminded me, even Coach K went off and looked at the Celtics and the Knicks. Timing seemed poor, hopefully recruiting stays strong. Give him the benefit of the doubt this time.

    46. al horney says:

      I do not understand how anyone; coach, CEO, administrator, can speak in public and make a strong, seemingly rock solid statement of commitment to his place of employment and his colleagues/players, then in hours go interview for another position. Then….act as though its just a normal, expected course of action. This is whats wrong with leadership everywhere. There is no integrity and worse yet, nobody seems to care. Its all fine…everything is fine…all normal. Well, the truth is; Kelly will leave in a heart beat. He’s dishonest. The joke may be on him, because it won’t be easy to keep winning. Diaco will leave shortly.

      • Stop the presses! A dishonest college football coach… I am shocked! Color me a cynic, but these days an honest football coach is about as effective as an honest lawyer. With rare exceptions (which we often discover to be facades anyway), all the great ones are wired like this. To be successful in this business you have to be a persuasive manipulative sonofabitch. I think we got ourselves one of them.

    47. A, 4.5

      His timing sucked, as it has a few times with comments he has made or plays he has called. And yes, he does owe this school more than the junk he just pulled, especially after ND’s patience with him.

      And whether Anzalone was a right fit or not, this debacle cost us a a good linebacker recruit, again because of Kelly’s stubbornness and bad timing. You can’t easily sell the ND man/RKG image that Kelly has trumpeted when you yourself aren’t playing by the same rules personally. So when we say this was not what a ND man or ND coach would do, we have some justification.

      He once again needs to fix his image with the ND community because, intentionally or not, his personality has put holes in his credibility.

      He didn’t need a ploy to improve his contract. Swarbrick was already going to pay him.

    48. ND Chicago says:

      a,8. I give Kelly credit for laying the foundation for success moving forward. He built a defense and has shown a penchant for player development. However, punt return team has been absolutely horrible. Its hard to believe a top tier coach couldn’t improve that in 3 years. Also, he had 44 days to prepare for the NCG and it didn’t look like he did anything to get the team ready. Although Alabama clearly had a better team, good coaches don’t get blown out with that much time to prepare. I guess he was busy doing interview prep. I’m not bothered by his decision to interview as much as the way he (mis)handled it. Sometimes what isn’t said speaks louder than what is said. Why didn’t he just put out a statement that he was asked to interview and he was going to listen? It was out there already anyway. Why is it almost a week later and he hasn’t addressed any questions (and there’s a lot)? Why go on vacation right after the interview and leave everyone hanging? I’m guessing change fees wouldn’t be a problem even prior to his pending raise. Also, the silence from ND athletic department during those 5 days was deafening. My guess is his name will surface for every opening (assuming ND continues to win) until he eventually leaves in the next couple of years. He may win at ND and I hope he does, but his word means nothing and he can no longer be trusted. I lost all respect for him.

    49. B, 4

    50. I was a wait-and-see at first. I now think he’s a great, but not elite coach.

      As for the second part. 5

    51. Irish Patrick says:

      Coach i hope you read this and do me a favor sign a new contract and put in their that if you leave you pay Notre Dame back for the chance you got by coaching at this program, you say your here for the kids and the university and all and go talk to a NFL team in a hush hush way that is the part disturbing to me I have followed you ever since you came here and i like what is going on even before the 12 and 0 season and said this is the right guy he talks the school he talks about it being for the kids and i was on board so if you go in and get a new contract for ND get one that is real and stick it out before leaving. If you would of left last Saturday you would of left the school and the kids Hi and Dry without a coach and that is not how someone who leaves someone they say they like and love to me it shows i don`t care. I understand your working your way through life and coaches get a big ego and need to go to the top but to me College football is the top the coach has to make do with new kids every 4 to 5 years and to stay a top team takes a coach that keep that up and i am sure you can make close to the same amount of money at ND then you can with the NFL for one you can coach for years here and 2 bad years in the NFL your looking for a job. I am not a coach or ever was i am just a guy your age still playing softball waiting for College football to start again. Go Irish

      • Mikeyoc-Pgh says:

        It’s would “have”, not would “of”. Hope you’re not an ND English major…….

    52. By voting 8 or 9 you are saying “ND coaches are expected to be better than the rest.” – well, to what degree…..

      Should an ND coach be better than the rest at graduation rates and promoting real education for his players? Definitely, and Kelly is (not that he invented the idea that ND stands for this, but he has clearly embraced it and used it as a recruiting advantage as his predecessor Weis did). But this “better than the rest” goal can go too far if admissions denies high character kids whose grades or test scores are not idea. I suppose it’s nice to have smart kids make ND look good but I get more fired up about those stories where ND made a good kid smarter.

      Should an ND coach be better than the rest at bringing in high character kids that the fans can be proud of? Definitely. Does Kelly do this? Depends who you ask. The cliche “ND sold their soul for football glory” crowd will always find at least one example out of 85 players to question their character no matter who the coach is, but I haven’t seen this as a point of contention among the average or hard core ND fan and Kelly has embraced the high character element to his advantage as well (“RKG”). But this can go too far, as until recently ND had a Res Life office that went too far in trying to protect its reputation in this area, to its own detriment.

      Should an ND coach steer clear of NCAA violations? Of course. Is Kelly doing this? Impossible to tell for certain in real time, but I think Kelly knows that ND’s reputation for compliance and academics are the golden geese that mustn’t be killed and that it won’t be in his long-term interest to screw that up. I’m not concerned that he would proactively skirt the rules, but I’m a little bit wary of how he might respond to some unforeseen problem that fell into his lap and whether he’d look the other way or sweep it under the rug like other coaches have. We do have evidence of a spotless compliance record at his other coaching spots. This is another area where the goal to be “better than the rest” can go too far. Recruiting is an ugly competitive game for all schools and there is no reason to self-impose more limitations on itself than the NCAA already sets.

      I guess we all have our sacred cows, but for me the romantic notion that an ND coach must pledge lifelong loyalty is not one of them. I wish he would and I think he should for his own selfish interests, but it’s so far down on my list of things to be upset about. I think the top coaches are just wired to be mercenaries and to expect ND’s coach to be “better than the rest” in this area would be another unnecessary self-inflicted wound.

    53. There does remain the question – is there a GOOD time to do this?

      We basically stole him from Cincinnati when we hired him, but we’re Notre Dame so it’s ok. Those Cincy kids, who had gone 12-0 over the 2009 season and finished in the top 5 were devastated by his leaving, and Florida could have scored 70 or more points on them in the Sugar Bowl.

      IMO there is NO good time to do this. If there is would someone please point it out?

    54. Could not stand Kelly from day one and can’t stand him even more now. The guy is a gutless fraud and an obvious liar.

    55. PanDomer73 says:

      B 5
      Didn’t like how he left Natti and i blame both he and ND for that. Maybe we need to relearn that winning isn’t everything, and that Faust at 6-6 may be more substantive.

    56. You missed a question. It is HOW he did it that bothers me. I never like the hire, but he was growing on me….not for winning, but by showing he was willing to learn and adapt. He may make more in salary as a result of these antics, but he may lose some appearance $$$ since he has lost some of the alum. Had he not said that it was his “dream job” beforehand and instead released something along the lines that he loves ND but needs to explore options he would have been in better shape. But the week of silence was amaturish for a leader of the “right kind of guys”.

    57. Chris W South Carolina says:

      As Pan Domer 73 mentioned, he had already outlined this a bit when he left Cincinnatti like he did. I was glad to have him, but thought how incredulous it was that he would leave those boys like that. If we were that anxious to have him, and he were that anxious to come, what would two weeks have meant? I hope that he’ll have a change of disposition and that he’ll do something to establish his credibility, but until then, I won’t be surprised if it happens again. Irregardless, I am glad that he has rebuilt our confidence and that he has the team feeling like winners! I don’t suspect that will leave with him.

    58. To me Kelly is a politician first and a coach second. It’s obvious the way he dumped Cinci, and threatened ND in his 3rd year, that he is only concerned for his own ass. I have lost a lot of respect for him. His word means nothing. Go Irish!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh by the way Kelly if you decide to stay how about some offensive domination this year. Your suppose to be a guru in that dept.

    59. martinjordan says:

      1. The Eagles are interviewing everybody – remember, Andy Ried had only been a QB coach when they hired him.
      2. If he was a serious candidate he would have been mentioned for other vacancies as well – his results at ND have been too mixed so far.
      3. I think that Kelly took the interview for leverage and experience.
      4. Anzalone had been all over the place and it’s more telling that no other recruits jumped ship.
      5. I don’t think that game preparation was effected at all.
      6. ND played like they were “just happy to be there.”
      7. I don’t particularly care for Kelly but would rather have him back right now than be searching for a new coach.
      8. What a great message it would send If it turns out that it was a ploy for more money for his assisstants – somehow I don’t think that Kelly is that kind of guy.

    60. B and 5. I can’t get past the fact that he obviously had this interview set up before the BCS Championship game and doubt if his concentration was 100% on the game.

    61. Avon Domer says:

      The closest one to the way I feel is No. 5. This whole episode tells me that BK doesn’t want to be at Notre Dame, and I don’t want to hear anything more from him about how he so dearly loves Our Lady’s School, because that’s obviously a load of crap. The guy wants to be in the NFL and all Notre Dame is to him is a stepping stone. I had to hear him ramble on and on in Miami about how he loves Notre Dame, and I got to hear that again on Saturday. Between those episodes he did everything he could to put Notre Dame in his rearview mirror, and I will never again believe what comes out of his mouth. If Brian Kelly were to tell me it’s raining outside, I’ll look out the window to see for myself.

    62. 1) a
      2) a-or to be exact the first two sentences of a. The last sentence is unctuous and completely speculative.

    63. FightingSonOfNotreDame says:

      A3 and possibly A2.

      I say that not completely knowing the facts. But if in fact he did this partially for the increased benefits for his assistant coaches then I commend him (obviously he did it for his own benefit as well which I’m fine with).

      The fact is our administration, not necessarily the current regime, has a history of paying below the market average for assistants. Many high level state schools have also lagged in this area (Wisconsin being the latest example).

      As we know, cohesion among the staff of coaches is huge in a program’s success. The fact is the SEC pays up whether we like it or not. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to put pressure on the administration to value the program enough to pay competitively. I understand the fine line the administration has to play to not make football the ultimate God. But they either believes it adds tremendous value to the university or they don’t. And there is nothing wrong with compensating the monetarily for this value, especially when the program is profitable monetarily.

      You wonder if in discussions with Lou and Brian, Lou actually feels this way. It might be counter intuitive to what we think Lou says but how many times do you here Lou reference the fact that he only made $150k in his prime at ND and that the administration forced him out?

      Perhaps Coach Kelly is actually looking out for the greater interest of the program with this move.

    64. He left Cinci high and dry and will do the same to ND. Just remember we took him from Cinci and shouldn’t complain when he abandons ship.

    65. Colonel RichaRd L. Horvath USA Ret says:

      Kelly handled it wronf and Jack S handled it even worse. If in fact the Eagles asked for permision to talk with Kelly then the AD should have put something and Kelly should have acknowledged the permission. Remember he is dealing with 18, 19 and 20 year palyers who did an outstanding job. I am proud of the team but the AD and Kelly get an F for internal relations, Now Mr. AD get the Jumbotron, the field turfm significant raises for his asistants and a very long term contract with lots of $$$$ so Kelly can get back to repeating this season and walk away with the whole enchilada.

    66. A. 3. It is a business, he has to get what is his ASAP. I expect Jack Swarbrick to be a great business man that he is with a high buy-out clause if he does jump. However, BK is not an NFL type guy, I don’t think he would have success in the NFL and I laughed out loud when I received a text about him interviewing. BK is a teacher. He is a mind developer. We have seen players grow on and off the field over the past 3 years. Coaches do not do that in the NFL. I am not worried about BK leaving. Let’s just hope his arrogance (which you need to be in a position of power like that and I like his) doesn’t get the best of him.

    67. The responses that crucify Kelly seem to be gross overreactions to the emotional roller coaster that Kelly did not create nor participate in. Keep in mind that the ENTIRE story revolved around reports from espn “sources” that Kelly spoke to the Eagles. Then the fan base ran wild with speculation about something they knew nothing about. My mother was nearing a meltdown over this whole situation. The fact of the matter is the current sports news cycle is so quick to report stories without any substance that they let readers fill in the blanks. Writers created this mess and then the fans rolled around in it like pigs in sh*t. Then they demand an apology from Kelly, though he never really did anything wrong. The “mishandling” was really just ND, the Eagles, and Kelly staying quiet regarding a situation that was never really a situation. Why address something that isn’t gaining any traction in reality, but only is doing so in the ESPN hype-machine? It appears as though Kelly has become a pariah for the fan bases’ irrational behavior. Get over it! Look at the story for what it is instead of what you thought it was. He talked to the Eagles once, went on vacation, and returned to more time and money from ND.


      • Mike Coffey says:

        So it’s your position that Brian Kelly didn’t interview with the Eagles at all?

        It was in a lot of other places besides the “ESPN hype machine”. All the Eagle beat writers had it, and then all the Chicago writers had it.

        A statement discussing the current situation was the way to go, not maintaining radio silence to the point most (if not all) of his assistant coaches were in the dark as to his intentions while trying to answer the questions of recruits.

        • First, define interview for me. Second, ESPN was the only place reporting it for quite some time. Let’s lump in all media everyone for argument’s sake. Did they have any hard information about the situation? No. They just knew that there was a meeting of some sort. How is that a problem? ND even gave their permission for the Eagles to contact Kelly. If Swarbrick gave his blessing, why shouldn’t you? Does he not represent the school? Third, he’s not obligated to break radio silence because the fans get into a tizzy. We didn’t even have to wait all that long. Less than a week is my gut feeling, but do you have the actual time period? Maybe he hadn’t made up his mind whether to do a second meeting/interview/whatever. Regardless, the situation can be summarized as: “Kelly meets with Eagles.” That’s it. There was nothing more to it. Can you admit, in hindsight, there was nothing more to expand upon by any party? Anything more (he’s leaving, he’s staying, etc.) would be pure speculation. All of the confusion stemmed from the media and fans bludgeoning recruits, players, and assistants with questions about a non-story or, at the very best, a speculative story. It’s only a story if something actually happens. Instead, the entire story was the anticipation that “something” MIGHT happen. That’s ridiculous. The man was on vacation. He dedicates every waking moment to ND football nearly every single day. Let him breathe for two seconds without placing more demands on him. Respect his space, especially after an appearance in the BCS title game. He’s not our servant who is expected to keep us updated on all things all the time. I would expect a week of respecting my personal space if I were in his position.

          • Mike Coffey says:

            I define interview as meeting with their representatives. I don’t believe there’s anyone out there who is denying this happened. To the contrary, everyone involved admits the Eagles were interested in having him as their coach and he was considering it. So yes, there was “more to it”, and it was in the public view.

            It would take all of a minute for Brian Kelly to say to his agent “take care of this”. Then he could go back to his vacation. When you’re paid millions of dollars, “respecting space” doesn’t always enter into it.

            You’re bending over backwards to absolve Brian Kelly from even a scintilla of blame for the situation. That’s just as useless as blaming him fully for it.

            • I haven’t argued in any way that Kelly didn’t meet with the representatives of the Eagles. So we’re on the same page there. Perhaps we differ in the degree of seriousness the interview. I won’t come down hard on Kelly over this because the “interview” would not have resulted in a hire. I presume this based on the reports surrounding additional meetings/interviews to be scheduled. I won’t come down hard on him for this kind of interaction with an NFL team. In the end it seemed like much ado about nothing. I fail to see how this alone was a mortal sin against ND football.

              So this is where your next point re: the “handling of the situation” comes in. I still don’t believe the combo of the interview plus silence on the matter adds up to condemning him. While he is responsible for keeping the program under control, he is not responsible for immediately responding to everyone’s concerns at a moment’s notice. It’s not a simple call to an agent to handle the situation. It involves press releases, official comments from the Eagles and ND, etc. and results in an avalanche of media coverage on top of what was already out there.

              Obviously we have different expectations of Kelly. I respect his right to meet with NFL teams without detriment to the program. We lost a single recruit that was borderline to begin with. I also respect his well earned vacation time. I have no problem giving him a single week off without an obligation to answer the fans or media. The amount of money he makes does not entitle us to answers on demand.

              The whole purpose of my posts have been to give readers a perspective in which one does not take Kelly’s actions personally. I waited for all the information to come out before jumping to any conclusions on the situation. As a result, I never took anything personally or speculated what the outcome would be. It would have been nice to never approach the idea of him leaving or to have had an immediate response, but I’m rational and patient enough to wait for the whole story to come out. When it did, I found that all parties (ND, Kelly, Eagles) handled it well. The Eagles sought permission from ND to contact Kelly. Kelly met with the Eagles and considered them as a new employer. ND got updates about that process. Kelly took some time during his vacation to think things over before moving forward with more interviews with the Eagles. Then he announced he was staying before another interview. A week is an appropriate time frame, in my opinion, for that to transpire. I don’t need to bend over backwards to defend that story…the true story in the end.

              I dispute your claim that I’m bending over backwards to exonerate him from blame. I don’t even care about blame. What is there to blame him about? Thinking about moving up to the NFL? So what? Taking time to think about his options? So what? What blame is there? The general point all of my posts is that everyone overreacted. I think it’s safe to say people overreacted. Do you agree?

              Furthermore, if there is ANY blame it should be placed on those who overreacted to the situation. I won’t blame Kelly for failing to settle down those who overreacted. I agree that it would’ve been nice for him to provide us with more information, but where we clearly disagree is whether each issue (the interview itself, silence for a week) had a reasonable explanation. I take no offense to him “interviewing” with the Eagles, especially since it wasn’t enough to complete the interview process. Clearly, the interview was a first rounder and we all know those don’t seal the deal for either side. No harm, no foul. As mentioned before, the vacation is a perfectly acceptable reason to stay silent on the issue for a week or less. It’s a week. It’s a vacation. We got our answer, just not soon enough for some.

            • Mike Coffey says:

              He also kept his assistant coaches in the dark, so while they were trying to reassure recruits, they had no information with which to do so.

              Would they qualify as “some”?

            • [He also kept his assistant coaches in the dark, so while they were trying to reassure recruits, they had no information with which to do so.

              Would they qualify as “some”?]

              No reply button is appearing in your post below so I will respond here instead. I see your point here. I, too, would like to avoid this situation. In light of how the situation escalated, there is a point where contacting the assistants should take place. I’m not sure what that point is yet in this circumstance, but it’s likely that you’re correct here.

              The assistants deserved answers if answers were past due. However, we are not assistants. Our view of this portion of handling the situation hinges on whether answers were past due. That depends on your expectation for how fast information needs to travel. Recruiting can be a fickle mistress, but little damage was done (at this point in time). This seems to be the main contention between us…when Kelly should have spoken out.

              I would like for you to address all my points and questions, as I did with you. You’ve glossed over important facets of the discussion, particularly whether you think everyone overreacted. If you do, then it’s easy to connect the need for contacting assistants with the overreaction by fans/media. I acknowledge you made an excellent point regarding the assistants, but that wouldn’t even be necessary if fans and recruits showed a little patience before overreacting. A few days of patience and fortitude would have absolved everyone from the anxiety and anger stemming from this entire ordeal. As we know, the interview process ended after one interview and Kelly announced he would return. So I state again, the compulsion to demand a response from Kelly immediately after reports surface is unreasonable to me.

    68. a-3, leaning possibly toward 4 or even 5.

      I thought Kelly was the best hire at the time (I thought it was delusional to think we could have had Saban or Meyer). ND isn’t heaven. It’s a university, and it’s Kelly’s employer. I don’t blame Kelly for looking, though the timing surprised me. And obviously, it could have been handled better. This episode has affected how I feel about him (some of #5 above), but it hasn’t lessened my regard for him as a coach.

    69. ElkhartIrish says:

      The 12-0 season wasn’t all because of Kelly. There were a couple of lucky breaks like the missed field goal, etc. Some of that is the kids fighting. Some of it is coaching. They could have easily been like 9-3. So coach Kelly really shouldn’t in any way think it was totally because of the way he coached. With that said, he is a good coach and is heading in the right direction with recruiting and player development. But flirting with the NFL now just hurts the future of the team. Hopefully he waits at least until he has actually won an NC before he leaves.

    70. Seen several comments about how they didn’t like how Kelly bailed on his Cincinnati team before their bowl game. It’s important to note that JS did indeed make the offer on the condition that Kelly leave Cincinnati immediately. Many of Weis’s recruits who were retained by Kelly in that recruiting class (Shembo, Nix, and Rees) as well as some added by Kelly (Spond) were significant contributors and an argument could be made that this year’s title game appearance wouldn’t have happened if we had waited another month for Kelly. Kelly said at the time that if Cincy was in the national championship game he would have stuck around (obviously). As for ditching his team before a non-title BCS bowl game, that’s just an inherent problem with college football. The 30 day layoff between the end of the regular season and new year’s day makes it ripe for this sort of thing. I didn’t think Kelly’s decision was unusual or unexpected, all things considered. Northern Illinois’s coach bailed before their BCS bowl game this year to take another job. I think 95% of coaches would have made the same decision Kelly did at that time. Does that mean that 95% of successful college football coaches are manipulative jerks? Yeah, they probably are.

    71. Some, maybe to many have a gift to be moral, aggressive etc…. however to many size what is – was a great opportunity to establish an challengable CHARACTER. While very excited for the young lads (pardon me Coach Leahy and his “LADS”) who put forth a great effort to reach the championship game – inspite of the fact that many were “not my recruits” – that was when Dr. Irish turned me off. My generation saw such great individuals overlooked for the prestige job: first Buck Shaw – then somehow Tommy Pagna and again Tongue Davie over Tommy Clements! While we have had too many mistakes with head coaches, particularly since 1998, Kelly is not a Notre Dame MAN (or woman) and AD has to be evaluating ND men for replacing – Kelly’s Spurrier head dress and play card should go – put the damn game plan in the press box – then again what was his game plan? How to bury the lads in the first quarter?

    72. For me this is as much about Jack Swarbrick as it is Brian Kelly. I don’t believe this was just some crazy idea thought up by BK alone. I think JS knew what Kelly was doing all along and there was never any plan for BK to actually leave. I think JS and BK (and Kelly’s agent) created this as leverage against the university to maximize the dollar amount for his contract. They needed to show the demand for BKs services, show it was “possible” that BK could leave and what the going rate was for his services to get that amount from the university (the fallacy in my thinking would be if JS does not need university approval for contracts, but I would find that hard to believe).
      I don’t believe BK ever saw ND as three year stepping stone to the NFL. I absolutely don’t believe that. You don’t go to major college programs thinking that. That is why I don’t think he was ever going anywhere. The only reason I could see him leave was he really truly did not like it at ND and I never got that impression and still don’t feel that way. That’s why I think JS was a part of this whole charade all along.
      To answer you question, I am in the (a) category above. I liked BK and still do. But, I have always thought of JS as a lawyer and am not sure I trust him as much. I think BK is getting the bad rap, but I think JS put him there.

    73. Mike Honcho says:


    74. LongtimeListener1sttimecaller says:

      Let’s say “C” for the first w/ a twist that he was maybe my 4th choice at the time, but he has done well on the field. The bowl game to me was an expected blip on the learning curve. As for the number its “10” it pissed me off because he was either not truthful in his statement about Notre Dame being his dream job, or he doesn’t expect to have success in the future at ND. Why else would you consider leaving when you know the eyes of the world are on you? I am of the opinion that a physical interview took place, and that type of meeting constitutes serious consideration. With all that being said, I’m so jacked about where the ND Program is on the field and in the classroom, I don’t care. We’re all forgiven men here, so I’m apt to forgive and show some support. By support I mean one size too small green ND Polo Shirt and Purple/Red face paint at the Temple tailgate/game next year. Given I’m a touch short, and a touch husky I could pull this off w/ a proper headset…. Who wants to be my Tommy Rees? Cheers B_tches! 12-1 and we have Zack Martin coming back!

    75. Alan Schade says:

      C-7. Last week’s situation has left a bad taste in my mouth. The performance of the team last Monday was bad enough, but to interview the morning after then disappear for 4 days really pissed me off. Not sure what to think here going forward. I guess winning big next year would take some sting out of this, so time will tell.

    76. Michael Massetti says:

      A / 3.

      Kelly’s great. He gets one “look outside” chance and if he does it again, he’s on my bad list.

    77. b 5.

    78. Not many people understand BK. BK is Boston, through-and-through…meaning BK is totally political. He knows the answers people want when they ask him questions. And he finesses his way around giving a straight answer. NOTHING says “politician” more than that. I wish people would stop trying to pin his failures on his political nature. BK IS BOSTON. POLITICS IS THE NATURE OF BK. If you don’t like it, fine. Look at his record and shut-up.

    79. PS – A.1.

    80. (a)(4) Seems like this had little to do with leveraging ND, but much to do with his interest in determining whether the NFL was for him. I would have preferred a coach who knew, after three years, that his heart was at ND without interviewing elsewhere. I assume, however, that he stayed because he discovered, through this process, that ND is where he wants to be longterm. Doing this again anytime soon would be great evidence that he doesn’t buy into the the ND mission.

    81. HURLS,
      thank you for that explanation, but it DOESN’T SAY MUCH ABOUT BOSTON. I’d like to think ND holds itself to a better standard

    82. scheduleSEC says:

      We all know this type of discussion is silly. What we should be calling for is for ND to schedule a game with a strong SEC team (LSU, UF, Texas A&M, Georgia, etc.) ASAP, like 2014 at the latest. It was clear that they were playing at a different level, as much as I hate to say it.

    83. a, 4. BK’s moves once again shows the problem with hiring a college with his background. That is a small college coach with no real big time experience. During his first year as coach, BK played the gambler coach and found out quickly that going for it on your own 50 yard line doesn’t work against the big boys. Now with the “debacle” ie the BCS game, we hope he learns that it takes a special leader to keep kids focused when distracted by being #1. He did learn to quit gambling on the field. So I will give him credit for being able to learn on the job–Charlie Weiss was unsuccesful in that realm!!!
      This interview move hopefully was a “rookie” mistake. A real wake up call saying, no dorothy this is NOT Kansas. I give him a pass this time but he is on a short leash. Every year now recruits will be hearing from the competition coaches that BK won’t be there for their entire career. I don’t mind the loyality stuff so much but I do mind the impact stuff like this does to recruiting.

    84. Gabby Hayes says:

      B-5, the eagles?? really ?? premier sports organization??? really??? the place where they booed Santa Claus??????

    85. If I had to pick one answer for each, it would be a-4.

      I was really more on the fence about him to begin with, but this 12-0 regular season, he more or less won me over. As for the Eagles situation, a single interview doesn’t seem like a big deal but if he’s constantly interviewing for the next big job, it will not reflect well on Notre Dame.

    86. I made the comment previously that I was glad Brian Kelly started this interview process as fast as freaking possible after the NC game. Because the later he starts it, the closer he gets to signing day. I also said the timing would look much much worse and unethical if he waited until after early entries signed their LOI and then bolted.

      Is this what Chip Kelly did? I did a search to find out when Oregon’s early entries arrive on campus but couldn’t find anything. Does anybody know?

    87. a-3

    88. TimmyIrish says:

      BK was the best coach available when he was hired, and he has improved the team every year. As much as we would like to think that the ND job is a coach’s final destination, that’s just not the case. I don’t like the way the situation was handled, but we are much better off with BK as our coach than we would be if some of these irrational suggestions about getting rid of him were implemented. We were 12-1 and have the #1 graduation rate. That’s pretty darn good. We are all disappointed in the NC game results, but many contributors need to chill out and enjoy the fact we had a very good season. BK is our best chance for success. Saban, Stoops, and Meyer aren’t leaving their current jobs to come to ND.

    89. Being from the Grand Rapids, MI area, I have followed Brian Kelly for many years. What he did with the Grand Valley State program was nothing short of unbelievable. Every stop since then, he has turned the programs around to the positive to say the least. Coach Kelly is a winner, on the field, off the field. During his press conference after taking the job at ND, myself and many of the other ND fans up here would have followed him into a war zone if he asked. We were that excited during this speech. He has shown that he can get the most out of his players the right way. I know many of the players that went through Grand valley, they would have given their left arm for this man, and from what I see so would this years ND team

    90. George Kaplan, says:

      8 1/2. Agree with ChicagoND. Besides, I”m not convinced yet by BKs coaching. this year the team was tougher and all on the same page: credit BK. But they won because of the defense: credit Diaco, and BK. Special teams underperform, in part because the best players aren’t on them. This is partly a depth problem and should improve. Offense has never been as advertised. Non-maturity is a good excuse but we’ll see. He still lost 4-6 games he should have won, and team and coaches underperformed in not just this but last bowl. He has a B to B+ right now on performance. But this move was bad pr, bad fan relations, bad for recruiting, and just insulting. If I were Jack and I could definitely bring in Chucky or somebody like him I”d do it right now.

    91. George Kaplan, says:

      Upon further review Swarbrick should get some of the blame for the timing here.

    92. Irishruff says:

      Chip to the Eagles. Does anyone doubt that would have been BK if he was offered the job??

    93. wow. bizarre.