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Sunday, May 26, 2024
The Observer

Brian Kelly leaves Notre Dame, accepts head coaching job at LSU

In a move that has turned the college football world upside down, the LSU Tigers have hired Brian Kelly away from Notre Dame.

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Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly gives a postgame interview after his Irish won their sixth straight game by double digits, beating Stanford 45-14 in Palo Alto.
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly gives a postgame interview after his Irish won their sixth straight game by double digits, beating Stanford 45-14 in Palo Alto. The game would be his last with the Irish.


The Tigers had a head coaching vacancy after parting ways with Ed Orgeron this season. National champions in 2019, LSU has gone just 11-11 in their past two seasons, with an upcoming bowl game to finish their 2021 season.

LSU’s pursuit of Kelly was reported on Monday afternoon, with the first sources reporting that Kelly had accepted an offer that night around 8 p.m. A few hours later, a text from Kelly to his team was leaked, apologizing for the news being broken over social media and announcing a team meeting at 7 a.m. the following morning. By Tuesday morning, Kelly had not made any public statement but changed his Twitter bio to “Head Coach, @LSUFootball. #GeauxTigers,” while also changing his cover photo to an LSU graphic.

Shortly after that, LSU released a statement, introducing Kelly as their new head coach.

“Kelly, who will receive a 10-year, $95 million contract, plus incentives, will be formally introduced as the 34th head coach in LSU Football history at a press conference [at] noon CT on Wednesday,” the statement read.

LSU’s director of athletics Scott Woodward commented on Kelly’s legendary status in the world of college football.

“Brian Kelly is the epitome of a winner. He has built and sustained success at every program he’s led, from multiple undefeated regular seasons and National Coach of the Year honors to national titles and College Football Playoff berths,” Woodward said. “His credentials and consistency speak for themselves.”

Woodward also commended Kelly’s efforts off of the field.

“Most importantly, Coach Kelly’s players and programs exemplify excellence in all aspects of the student-athlete experience — in competition, in the classroom, and throughout the community — and he shares our values and vision for elevating our university and our state. We’re thrilled to welcome him and his family to Baton Rouge, and we are excited to work with him as we add to the championship legacy of LSU Football,” he said.

In the statement, LSU included a note from Kelly himself.

“I could not be more excited to join a program with the commitment to excellence, rich traditions, and unrivaled pride and passion of LSU Football,” Kelly said. “I am fully committed to recruiting, developing, and graduating elite student-athletes, winning championships, and working together with our administration to make Louisiana proud. Our potential is unlimited, and I cannot wait to call Baton Rouge home.”