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Brian Kelly Not Talking About Notre Dame… Yet


Cincinnati head coach Brian Kelly would not discuss the Notre Dame position on Tuesday, but said he would address the situation after his undefeated Bearcats finish their regular season against Pitt this weekend. (Photo - IconSMI)

Brian Kelly’s name has been closely associated with the Notre Dame head coaching position before the position was even open. Rumors have been rampant that Kelly is one of the leading candidates for the open position, but on Tuesday the Cincinnati head coach wouldn’t address any Notre Dame related questions.

Instead, Kelly said that he would address any questions about the Notre Dame position after Cincinnati’s regular season finale against Pittsburgh. With a Big East Championship and BCS bowl bid on the line, this should come as no surprise to anyone.

Kelly told the Cincinnati Enquirer:

“I don’t plan on getting involved in these Notre Dame conversations,” Kelly said. “I’ll answer them after the season is over but I’m not going to get into any Notre Dame conversations about who had contact and who didn’t have contact. I’m just not going down that road until after the season.”

“I have not had contact (with Notre Dame),” Kelly said. “Even if they were reaching out to me, I’m finishing out the season just like I have every year. We’re going to focus on Pittsburgh this week. After the Pittsburgh game, we can talk about other things.”

ESPN has some of the Kelly press conference available as well.

The speculation and rumors surrounding Kelly and the Notre Dame position will only continue to heat up with each passing day and will only go away if Notre Dame hires a coach before the end of the week or Kelly makes some sort of statement that he isn’t interested. That latter of which seems highly unlikely since it’s been widely reported that Kelly would indeed be interested in the position if it were offered to him.

Should Notre Dame make it through the week without naming a successor to Charlie Weis, Irish fans will at least have a game of interest outside of the conference championships to watch this weekend. Cincinnati and Pitt kick off at 12:00 ET on Saturday with the game being broadcast on ABC.


  1. I don’t want another coordinator. Weis problem was that he could not manage the team. Kelly has pieced together a defense this year and been able to win. He has Jones a former QB starting a OLB because he doesn’t have the horses. We need a top 25 defense and with the talent assembled on offense this team will win. The six games we lost if the defense could have held once than ND wins the game. Kelly’s defense got beat in the first half but held Pitt and was able to give the offense a chance to win. I think he is the guy. I liked the way he got in his QB’s face and brought the focus back. Strong is not the man, neither is Stoops or Meyer. Kelly is the guy and sign him this week.

  2. Theres no doubt that Kelly is a good coach and has done a remarkable job at Cinci. But offense is not our problem at ND, if fact we had a damn good one this year and lost 6 games. Had we had a defense that could give the offense a chance to play a “ball controll” game instead of having to rally in the 4th quarter EVERY game we could have been a 9-3 or 10-2 team.

    How is Kelly that much different than CW? Personally, I want Charlie Strong or a coach that has spent years developing defensive talent, and he should be from the south or southwest. Anyone catch the Texas/Braska game? We need a defense that can take the wind out of high powered O teams. Bama’s defense rocked Flordia.


    • Kelly was able to take a defense which lost 10 starters and piece it together to get through the year. His defense in 2008 was not that bad. He has the players on the defensive side of the ball at ND. He likes to run a 3-4 which these players have run. He has two good d-ends in a 3-4 in Moore and Johnson. He has a slew of LB’s to run the 4 LB. The secondary will be fine if it plays bump and run and not 5 yds off. His offense Cryst ran in high school.

  3. Decision needs to be made this week. If a decision is not made this week recruits will start leaving. If you think Kelly is your guy call him and make an offer he can’t refuse. If he refuses they better have a plan B. It is time for them to get off their ass and hire someone.

  4. Unfortunately, after 15 years of being lost, there can be no risk in the choice. They have to pay the piper for what they did and pay someone who is a lock $6 million bucks per annum for 5 years. I like skip and kelly, but they are not a lock, and the ND brass are down to their 9th live.

    • FXM,

      Kelly just said on the ESPN BCS Bowl special that he would consider the job if it was a unique situation. He has basically told ND brass that he is interested but he holds some cards and wants to get paid and some other considrations. I think ND can get Kelly and should initiate talks this week. He did try and say that Cincy is getting facilities to compete, however they will get killed by Florida on New Years day.

  5. Have not heard anything on Skip Holtz. Forget Butch Davis…no ex-Miami coaches…please.

  6. how do u guys figure kelly is an upgrade over weis? weis is an offensive genius. so is kelly. i have watched kelly’s defense get destroyed at cincy the last 2 weeks and the reason they r good is not their defense. Can kelly recruit? we are not sure.

    Give me Stoops who is proven. Butch Davis who is also proven ( and is great with defense) or give me jon gruden who can motivate young players and wont have problems recruiting at all.

    • Subsitute the words “Utah” for “Cincinnati” and “Bowling Green” for “CMU” and you get Kelly. I’m not saying Kelly can replicate Meyer’s success at a tier 1 program, but he has at least as good a resume as Meyer did before he headed to Florida. The differences between Weis and Kelly are so broad that its hard to imaging you have watched either significantly. There is more to it that offense or defense orientation. I’d take an up and comer like Kelly over a guy in decline like Davis. As far as Stoops goes — that’s a no brainer and I hope so, but pinning your hopes on a legend who has a tier 1 program already is admirable, but setting yourself up for disappointment.

    • Look at his Defense at CMU and last year at Cincy he is not great but he did have to replace 10 and then 11 players on D this year

  7. Success breeds success. Kelly has been successful everywhere he has been.
    Recruiting is simply selling. Obviously, he sells himself very well to the
    demographic he must convince to win football games – his players.
    So there’s no reason he won’t recruit well at ND

    CW and Davie had never before been tested as the HC. They were promoted above their competence. TW simply was consistent at ND w/ his prior history of mediocrity as a HC.

    Kelly will be consistent w/ his history of unbridled success as a HC @ ND

  8. Brian Kelly is not coming to ND. He said so. I take him at his word. He said he is styaying at Cincy.

    • Do any of you guys do your home work on Petersen? He coached Van Pelt at Pitt, he coached Oregon St. to its 41-9 thumping of ND. ND’s plane has been in Boise 6 times in the last week.


      The guy that predicted in writing we would go 5-7 at the start of the season. Remember we lost the Washington game and MSU simply did not execute. We should have won the USC game but our receiver fell down.

  9. I don’t want him. He’s unproven in the recruiting trail and you don’t how well he’s going to do with his own recruits consider the fact he hasn’t stay long enough at a D1 school to prove it.

    • I completely agree with Oxygen. Kelly’s time at Cincinnati and his previous job’s would put his career exactly paralel to Urban Meyer’s right before he went to Florida… oh wait a minute… I meant to say that I think Oxygen’s arguement is not so good.

      • Urben Meyer is an Urben legend he showed his charactor with the “Spikes” incident not to mentinon getting his ass handed to him with a real coach. Saban would be great but we still want Petersen.

  10. I was responding to IrishforLife and agreeing with fxm unless that’s unclear. For someone who says they’re “Irish for Life,” that’s an extremely negative view of ND. When has ND ever fired a winning, competent coach? Yes, uncle Lou’s ouster could’ve been better handled. But Holtz was not fired after his first bad season, was he?

  11. Notre Dame is still a special place and a great college football program. That being said if I were Brian Kelly I wouldn’t want to go to ND due to the pressure. Think about it Charlie Weis went to 2 BCS bowls in 5 years and they fired him. If you win a National Championship and win 8 games then 7 games the next year ND will fire you. GO IRISH

    • please don’t defend CW, he was incompetent. You can not lose to Navy 2x, UCONN who has been D-1 since 2001, sub .500 michigan, etc. Give me the name of a coach whose team is in the top 20 and would be 6 -6 with this talent.

    • This absurd logic. When has such a thing ever happened at ND?! I can guarantee you CW is still coaching at ND if had just gotten to a BCS bowl. Like fxm, says, don’t make excuses for CW’s incompetence.

      • Hell, Charlie took ND to 2 BCS games, then went 3-9, but we gave him the benefit of the doubt. Then he went 6-6, but we said ok, but he’s finally going to get it, and 6-6 will be a thing of the past. Then he went 6-6 again and well…you don’t get THAT many chances with this much talent. So, to agree with fxm and SteelFanRob, CW was incompetent and was not canned at the first sign of weakness. He got chances, he just had no idea what the hell to do with them, much like the talent he had (outside of a QB and 2 WRs), he had no idea what to do with it.

  12. http://www.webn.com/pages/onair_dawnpatrol.html

    That is the link to the radio bit where Kelly says he’s staying in Cincy cause his kids love it there and he wants to build the program up. Now ,I agree that if he is interested in ND he has to lie when put in that situation but he also sounds sincere and he doesn’t have it bad in Cincy with an unbeaten record. The recruits will get better and the university will spend knowing they have a chance for greatness. No one can ever say ND is irrelevant in this day and age with this media monster following the coaching situation.

    • I love that he said that on tv, but after the Pitt game it showed on ESPN that he is willing to talk to ND. There is so much crap out there I don’t know what is true.

  13. Rumors from cincy today stated kelly just signed a 10 year contract extension worth 8 million a year with incentives. If this is true great for Cincy. However, he has always had a provision in his contracts that there is no buy out for a notre dame job. Also, they have stated that notre dame officials have flown into town twice in the past 10 days.

    • joe, think about that one for a second. A 10 year deal for $8 million a year is an $80 million deal. The best NFL coaches don’t make that much annually.

    • Bull Shit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Brian Kelly is a perfect fit for our program, as we know. I think it’s a good sign thay Kelly won’t consider the job untill the season is over. It shows good determination and really makes me want him more for our position. Keep in mind, Cinci has the 3rd lowest funding for a football program in the FBS, i’m sure Kelly would love to go to a football oriented school like Notre Dame. I would like to say i am confident that he will take the job, the only thing that would make me question is if Brian Kelly wins out.

  15. I’m afraid Coach Kelly may get so fed up with the press hounding him about the Notre Dame job that he’s gonna say “screw it…I don’t want anything to do with that place!” What big name coach is really going to want his current job jeopardized by rampant speculation over a coaching position that hasn’t even been offered to him yet? If only the media would back down a bit, let the Bearcats finish their season, then let Swarbrick make his sales pitch.

  16. Irrelevant, huh, then why was the firing so anticipated and then posted on the front of the usa today. Bobby Bowden, the second winningest coach in division one history, got a smaller spot on the front then charlie. The haters are out in masses. Remember, when charlie first came to notre dame, we were suffering the same fate from the haters, but then two bcs games quieted the haters and the irish nation could be heard loud and far all over the land. Here we are in the same place after ty left. Well haters times have changed and acamdemics are tough at nd, but don’t think we will forget easily….

  17. The media is driving me nuts in this whole situation. They say Notre Dame football is irrelevant anymore, yet they are camped out on campus this week like it’s the damn OJ Simpson trial. Give me a break!!!

    I’m just waiting for Mark May to go on a rant saying it was “Fat Discrimination”. “He wasn’t fired because he was a horrible coach and couldn’t win big games, can’t you see that the University of Notre Dame is prejudiced toward fat people???”

  18. Calm down bud,

    We didn’t lose him. He’s just absolutely unwilling to consider a job change while preparing for the biggest game of the year, and possibly of the program to date.

    • I was responding to Kelly on a radio show saying that he would remain at Cincy.

      However, i dont think there is any other way a coach could answer that question. If he says no comment, the media will attack him. If he says yes, his team may quit on him. All he can do is lie and say no, and then leave once the season is over.

      Its really no win for coaches in that situation.

  19. And then he shoots us down. We are dropping potential coach hires like crazy due to the media.

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