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LSU Football To Hire Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly

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BATON ROUGE — This time, it could really happen.

LSU expects to complete the hiring process of Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly as its head coach as early as Tuesday, a source close to the search confirmed on Monday night.

Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel, who broke the story that LSU target Lincoln Riley would leave Oklahoma’s head coaching job for USC on Sunday, first reported the Kelly story on Monday.

For the third time in the last 22 years, LSU will hire a sitting head football coach at a major program, if Kelly indeed comes to Baton Rouge. LSU hired Michigan State coach Nick Saban after the 1999 season, and Oklahoma State coach Les Miles followed him after the 2004 season. Both won national championships.

Kelly, 60, is the same age as Ed Orgeron, who was fired after a 3-3 start this season effective at the end of the regular season, which was Saturday as the Tigers finished 6-6 overall and 3-5 in the SEC two years after a 15-0 national championship season.

LSU athletic director Scott Woodward thought that Riley was LSU bound as recently as last week, the source said, but Riley instead has accepted the USC job.

Kelly is a proven winner and is the most accomplished football coach LSU has ever hired at the time of the hiring. Kelly took the Irish to the College Football Playoff final four last season at 10-1 before losing to eventual national champion Alabama, 31-14. Kelly also took the Irish to the CFP semis in 2018 before a 30-3 loss to eventual national champion Clemson. He also took Notre Dame to the BCS national championship game in the 2012 season before a 42-14 loss to Alabama.

He is the winningest coach in Notre Dame history at 113-40 through 12 seasons. Notre Dame is ranked No. 6 at 11-1 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. Kelly, an Everett, Massachusetts native, previously was head coach at Grand Valley State (1991-2003), Central Michigan (2004-06) and Cincinnati (2006-09) before going to Notre Dame in 2010.

 

 

Written by Glenn Guilbeau

Guilbeau has been on the LSU beat since 1998 with multiple outlets in Louisiana, prior to that he had covered both Auburn and Alabama. He won first place for his game feature on LSU's upset at Florida last season from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). He was also named Beat Writer of Year, by Louisiana Sports Writers Association in July; placed in three Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) categories – Beat Writer, Explanatory, Game Coverage – last spring. Guilbeau was also the FWAA first-place winner for columns in 2017 and was also the top overall winner in 2016 FWAA placing first for his game story, second in columns, and receiving honorable mention for features.

6 Comments

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  1. Kelly’s entire coaching career has been in the Upper Midwest. Now he is going into one of THE most culturally unique areas of the country.

    Sure, he can/will hire recruiters familiar with the area … but … If he wins 8-9+ games a year over LSU’s 2-3 most hated rivals he will be loved … until / unless he doesn’t. Then he won’t be …

    I see this as a high risk hire for both sides. More high risk than Riley to USC. But LSU was running out of celebrity hire possibilities.
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    So now does Luke Fickell tank his Conf Chmp game w/ Cincy so he can move to South Bend next week?

  2. Good Luck, Tiger fans! If Brian Kelly thought it was tough to win in South Bend…he hasn’t seen anything yet.

    Good riddance, Brian! Somewhere Declan Sullivan’s family is smiling. You should have been fired by sundown that tragic afternoon.

  3. Didn’t see this move coming. I’m a bit surprised Kelly would leave now when he has the Irish program rolling as a consistent top 10 program. He’s always had a bit of a salty and brusk personality, so we’ll see how that will fly with folks in Baton Rouge. If he can win at ND he can win at LSU.

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