Report: Brian Kelly to Interview Tuesday

Brian Kelly confirmed Monday that he has been contacted by Notre Dame and that he will listen to what the Irish have to say. (Photo - Icon SMI)

Notre Dame could be close to zeroing on its next head coach with reports Monday that Cincinnati head coach Brian Kelly would be interviewing for the open position in South Bend on Tuesday. Reports Monday stated that Kelly would meet with athletic director Jack Swarbrick in New York.

Kelly himself announced to his team and his Twitter followers that he was contacted by Notre Dame. “Just informed our team that Notre Dame has contacted me and I will listen to what they have to say,” Kelly tweeted on Monday.

Considering how hard information on the Notre Dame coaching search has been to come by since the dismissal of Charlie Weis a week ago Monday, today’s events would suggest that Kelly is the leader in the clubhouse at this point with no other candidates lined up for interviews at this time.

The New York Times reported on Monday that Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh would also be interviewing for the position, but that report was quickly shot down by both Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby and Jim Harbaugh himself. Harbaugh was interviewed during Monday Night Football while he was on the sideline of Baltimore Ravens where his brother Jon serves as the head coach.

All last week and through the weekend Kelly refused to comment on the Notre Dame position while his undefeated Bearcats prepared for what was in essence the Big Each Championship game against Pitt last weekend.
Even earlier in the day on Monday, Kelly was vague when talking about his future plans on the Dan Patrick Radio Show. Kelly did say that he would consider other opportunities outside of his current position but that it would have to be a unique circumstance but that he could look at another job. Kelly also said that he couldn’t guarantee he would be coaching Cincinnati in their upcoming showdown with Florida in the Sugar Bowl.

Other reports on Monday said that Swarbrick could be making his recommendation to Father Jenkins by the middle of the week – again suggesting that Kelly could be the front runner for the position.

Notre Dame and Swarbrick hasn’t officially commented on the coaching search or whether or not they intend to interview Kelly on Tuesday, but if the reports were inaccurate it’s likely Notre Dame would have been quick to refute them.

Kelly’s name has been linked with the Notre Dame position for almost a year now as most felt he would have been the replacement for Charlie Weis last December had he been let go at that time.

We should know soon whether or not Kelly is the guy for Notre Dame according to his interview with Dan Patrick. Kelly stated he would know by the weekend what it was he planned to do regarding his future.

If Kelly isn’t the guy for Notre Dame, it isn’t clear where Notre Dame would turn. Randy Edsall has been a name linked to the Notre Dame position in various reports, but it’s unclear if he was or could be a viable candidate. Other coaches linked to the position include Skip Holtz and Al Golden but it’s unclear whether any of them are actual candidates either.

Stay tuned as it seems like the coaching search could be winding down.

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  1. I was thinking last night about the possiblities if Kelly gets hired. One thing that came to mind was the potential that Crist would have running Kelly’s spread. Crist is more suited for this style of offense than Jimmy was. He can run and throw, which would make him a dangerous weapon on offense. I think he has the potential to be better than Pike at Cincy running this offense.

    With that said, Crist has the potential to come out of ND as The QB who led ND back to glory. I find it ironic that the “other” 5-star QB Weis recruited could be the QB everyone remembers down the road. I do not want to take anything away from Jimmy, he was a great QB this year and had to endure a lot of junk. But years down the road, it may be Crist who is elevated as one of the great ND QBs.

  2. What if Brian Kelly was not interested? Are there drones of “Top Tier” coaches in line breaking the door down of ND? Think about it, the only reason Swarbrick is using a search firm is to buffer mass rejection from the likes of Stoops, Meyer, and Saban. It is wishful thinking to believe any one of these top tier coaches have any reason to bow to ND. If you have to hide behind the “skirt” of a search firm you are doomed with your own narcissism to expect top tier coaches to have any real interest. In my view, ND will have to beg + insane money to hit a home run with a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP COACH………highly unlikely. Kudos Frank, on your comments also.

  3. I saw this on the Cleveland Browns website (

    “Quick off topic note for the college football and ND/Univ of Cincy fans: Word from the ND Rivals site is saying that Kelly is finalizing a 5 yr contract and will be announced as the next coach — likely Friday after the UC football banquet Thursday evening.”

    Word from any insiders?

  4. Oxygen, you definately need some air. Here we bashing another coach that hasn’t even been hired yet. I BK can win at CU, he can definately win at ND. Consistency will the the real winning edge at ND. Get someone and let him coach and get the hell out of the way. (Lead, follow, or go follow Michigan!!)

  5. i agree with frank earlier, see irishillustrated article i don’t have the link to, NO big name coaches go from one big program to another. the article went through all successful coaches at big programs for the last 40 years and found 1.

    re recruiting, in 06 Cinn had 3 players that were good enough to get a 2star ranking, this year they 13 players with at least a two star ranking, 9 3star, 1 4star. i wouldn’t worry about recruiting or the offense,


  6. Oxygen,

    Here is the bottom line. Davie had no experience as a head coach, Ty had one good year at Stanford, and Charlie had no experience as a head coach. Brian Kelly has a career record of 171–57–2. Not only has he been the head coach for 230 games, he has won 74% of them. That tells me one thing, he has a system that works and he has proven it works at 3 different schools. Who cares if he does it with other coaches players? He will have Charlies players for the next 3 years, are we going to be upset if he wins with them?

    This is not settling, it’s taking a chance on a PROVEN winner that has won at smaller schools, which makes him no different that Urban Meyer when Florida got him. He had a system that was successful at each stop and he took Florida to the top using that system. Why can’t Kelly do the same? If he can go 12-0 at Cincy, why can’t he go 12-0 at ND?

    Also, why all the worry about recruiting? When it comes to the recruits, they look for 3 things…Will we win, can I play, and will I get drafted? It all starts with winning, and if ND wins, recruits will want to come. They will want to come even more if there is player development and kids start getting drafted like they used to. Look at our offense when Weis took over. It all started with winning and ended with player development. (Quinn, Jeff S, Stoval, the tight ends)

    So it all comes back to getting a coach that has PROVEN he can win. Name another coach that is not currently at a big time school that has won 74% of their games. There isn’t any, which makes Brian Kelly this years must have coach.

  7. It is so hilarious some of you on here cling to Brain Kelly’s success at Grand Valley State. When truth be told, Chuck Martin has been there half the years and already has two DV 2 titles with a better win percentage(61-5) than Kelly. Should we go offer Chuck Martin because he’s done better than Brain Kelly? You also have to take into consideration that Brain was at CMU only 3 years and Cincy 3 years. So you really don’t know what he can really do with is own recruits. Les Miles dominated at LSU with Nick Saban recruits and now it looks like he’s verge of having years like he did at Oklahoma State. Charlie Weis first two years were good.

    Charlie was far from a terrible coach, he lost only by handful of points while showcasing a high powered offense. When they hire Jon Tenuta, I knew Charlie made a bad hire and in the end result coasted Weis his job. Jon scheme was down right awful and didn’t fit ND’s personnel.

    Is ND does hires Brain Kelly they “settled.” Brain Kelly is a good coach, but not great. Brain isn’t going bring ND back to permanence. If Brain doesn’t go out and get a damn good defensive coordinator, you’re going to see the Weis years all over again.

    1. Are you really serious with these comments over and over about BK? Who cares what Martin has done since Kelly left. Is Spurrier not a good coach anymore because now Meyer has done more at UF? Was Cowher no good at the Steelers cause Tomlin is doing good now. Kelly has won everywhere period. Also, Urban was never anywhere more than 3 years before he took the job at Florida. He just said that this past year was the first time he ever had a class from start to finish.

      Please stop with these ridiculous posts Oxy man.

  8. What? Charlie had good assistants? Well, what about Tenuta? He could never get the defense going! That’s what finally did Charlie in!

  9. I would be shocked if he doesn’t take the job if offered. The Cincy job can not compete with what he will have at his disposal if at ND.

    For example, I just checked the latest rankings on Irish Eyes and ND has the 13th rated recruiting class and Cincy is at 51. Now, that can be viewed as Kelly can’t recruit or the top players in the country do not view Cincy as a great place to go to school. In my opinion, it’s the latter. They have 16 recruits and only one is ranked with 4 stars, the rest are 3 stars. ND has three rated in the top 100 and 8 rated with 4 stars. This after ND went 6-6 and canned the coach and Cincy went 12-0 and is playing Florida in a BCS game.

    For Kelly to be among the “Great” Coaches, he has to do it at a big time school. And if he does it at ND, he will fall into the legend category. He has nothing to lose and everything to gain by making this move. Cincy will not be able to pay him what ND will. I read that the Cincy trustees didn’t want to approve a $10 million practice facility, so what makes any of us think they are going to be able to match what ND can throw his way?

    I just they come to terms soon, so we can move on to something else.

    1. Agreed. Also look at the recruiting rankings for ND and Cincinnati for the past few years. They’re not even close. Yet it is Cincinnati that’s undefeated and playing Florida in the bowl game, and ND, with their top ten recruiting classes, muddling along at 6-6 and not going to a bowl. It’s a travesty. Can’t wait to have a real coach.

    2. Good Points you have made here.
      Cincinnati IS a good school in many aspects, but just seconds fromt he school it is NOT safe for students–night or day.
      Furthermore, ( not that this has a huge things on their football program but it is the truth)
      Cincinnati has a mold in the air -that if one is born there , they are immune, but students going there get sick from it at some point.
      That said, Cincy has a great
      School for Music and would be Architechts.
      As for the administration not competing with the likes of ND , you are RIGHT ON THE MONEY! I jsut hope we get somebody soon–Kelly or not–and with a great defensive coach. I think Charlie is a good coach, not great, but better suited for staff than leadership.
      As for Tenuta-oh my Lord in heaven, he is gone and he was and is disaster and I am gld he is gone!
      think of this-
      Kelly COULD get somebody GREAT on Defense along with him and what he has done.
      The man KNOWS College Football.
      It might work.
      All signs are pointing that way for sure.
      ( If I were playing Florida, I would run like hell.
      The money, the blame it on the other coach leading the Bearcats in Defeat against Gators, the Facility, the tradition, he has nothing to lose)
      I am just glad ND did not play Florida this year! OH GOSH!!!!!

    1. Love that comment.
      Giving Birth indeed!!
      As an ND alum and lover of the Irish since the age of 4, I anticipate that the next guy MUST be the one to turn the program around or it will be a heck of a ride again in 3-4 years. If that is the case, GOD FORBID, then it will take the Irish a combination of many years to rebuild -a combination equal to the tenure of Davie, Willingham and Weis combined.
      12 years plus the 3 -4 of the next coach IF —IF –he is not successful.
      This merry go round MUST stop and the ND Administration must get its head out of the sand and do the RIGHT THING and not the KNEE JERK reaction Thing!!!!
      Love the Irish, question the University on many things.
      If it is Kelly, may he have the wisdom to get some defense. ( I hope we are not picking another guy from the Cincinnati area to Coach ND to disaster and dark days.)
      AS for the schedule being “light” -hey folks ,
      ANYTHING can happen to almost ANYONE these days—just ask Appalachian State about that.
      Western Michigan is not automaticially a “win”
      –nobody is anymore —
      GO IRISH!

  10. a guy at work told me Brian Kelly was pro-abortion. Im not sure what kind of impact that could make on the hire. I dont know if its true but he did show me the article on his i-phone. As we all know there was a huge uproar for conferring an honorary degree on Obama for his stance on the subject. Then again Saint Louis U hired Majerus to coach their b-ball team and he is an abortion rights supporter. Either way as a friend pointed out there is ND and then there is ND football and the two things are different. Why coaches these days are making their politics public is beyond me.

    On a lighter note ******Vote early vote OFTEN*****Lets get Tommy Z in the probowl. His cousin is a fellow Chicago police officer and he is on the ballot for special teams. He’s averaging a couple tackles a game on kick off and is playing behind Ed Reed at Safety for Baltimore (where he had a nice pick yesterday and 4 tackles in Reed’s absence). You can vote as many times as you want. Go to

    You early, vote often, its the Chicago way, keeping Mayor Daley and his Democratic Machine in power for decades and counting!

    1. Ha ya just read that myself and was getting ready to post the link but you beat me to it. Sounds like kelly is tryin to keep this out of the public for some reason or another. But hopefully something will get done this week because we need kelly to be the next coach at ND!

  11. This is starting to show up on the internet:

    “I’m just in NYC for the Hall of Fame dinner. No interview today — Believe ME,” the post reads.

    It is a post on Brian Kelly’s Twitter page. What in the world is going on? Did he turn us down or is it already a done deal?

    Time will tell

  12. Not only is it easier to recruit players at ND over Cincy, it is easier to find talented staff. Why does everyone seem to feel that Kelly is incapable of luring a good DC to ND? I am pretty sure Swarbrick will be all over him on that.

  13. I also agree that we need someone with more of a defensive background. Kelly is a better choice than Edsall. I think when the BCS bowls where announced Kelly said “oh shit” with Cincinnati having to play Florida. He takes the job at ND and runs for South Bend in the next few days. If Kelly accepts the job Swarbrick better spend some cash and get him a top rate D-coordinator. This will be great for the incumbent recruits. Cincinnatti will get whooped by the Gators.

    1. I agree 100%. He can be the best coach in the world but without the right assistance coaches it wont matter look at what happened to Weis.

      They’re probably not gonna pay Kelly as much as Stoops and Meyer, since they were the top choices and have already one a NC. With the extra money they BETTER get the best defensive staff out there!

  14. Kelly will be excellent, check out the recent recruiting rankings for Cincinnati and look at what he’s done with those players. If Weis had them Cincinnati wouldn’t win a game. Kelly knows what he’s doing and does more with less. Weis brought talent in but has no idea how to coach effectively. With Kelly at the helm it will be like watching a real football team again. Hopefully we get him.

    1. I couldn’t agree more…Weis had no clue what to do with the talent he had at Notre Dame. All he knew was that there was an All-American QB and 2 All-American WRs, nevermind that, if coached properly, we could have a couple All-Americans on Defense as well as the O-Line. CW was way too close minded for college football and that’s why he didn’t succeed. With the talent he had in front of him, he should’ve produced A LOT more than back-to-back 6-6 seasons.

      I think Kelly knows the talent he’s got waiting for him at ND (in all fairness, thanks to CW) and Kelly will KNOW how to make that talent useful and win football games.

  15. Kelly would be an acceptable choice but I think Edsall right now is our best choice.

    Dantonio got Cincy going and has a great background( asst to Tressel, Saban ) but has not exactly torn up the B10. Kelly has improved on Dantonio’s base.

    But Edsall started UCONN at Div AA , has never had as much as a single 4 star recruit and has had some very good and tough teams. He can develop players on both sides of the ball, something ND has not done for a long long time. Also a class guy

    1. Are you kidding me? Edsall?

      Winning all your games is a nearly-impossible task. And, doing it at Cincinnati is even more challenging.

      My sense is that Kelly is prepared. Sure, I would love Stoops or Meyer, but . . . Edsall? Really?

  16. Coaches (and atheletes) are continually evaluated as to their ability to excel at the next level. Based on Kelly’s coaching track record, there seems a high possibility that Swarbick will determine Kelly does have what it takes to excel at ND, a clear level above Cincinnati. An interesting consideration is whether Swarbick has a viable backup plan in his hip pocket should the interview turn in a different direction. ND cannot afford to stumble around as it did five long years ago.

  17. I’m glad that the ball seems to be rolling with Kelly now; he’s gonna be a great coach for the Irish. However, I don’t think he was Swarbrick’s first choice, I think that was Stoops, who had shown zero interest. Kelly obviously knows how to coach though, and I think he’s got the potential to turn our defense around while maintaing a high powered offense. I’m also glad that this information is factual, because all the rumors and B.S. speculation thats out there right now is enough to make any serious Irish fan want to vomit. Lets hope they land Kelly, Crist is ready to go for training this spring, and our recruiting finishes strong. If it does, I see alot of good things to come out of this program beginning next season.

    1. I believe that Stoops showed some interest. According to the Sun Times, he contacted former ND coaches and did a bit of due diligence last week. But, he decided, apparently, that he would rather be at Oklahoma.

  18. ND is not like it was 5 or 6 years ago. Back then when CW took over the team they had one good QB, one good running back, one good tight end, and one good wide receiver.
    Kelly uses a wide open offence and the players are already in place to run his style. A top notch QB, a hell of a Tight End. And a full stable of running backs and wide recievers. CW got a lot of production out of these guys. I think Kelly will get even more out of them. I’m hoping that he has an advantage of being in college for so many years that he has enough friends and associates to fill the coaching staff with quality people.
    Something CW didn’t have. Preperation, execution, play calling, game management, motivation, and player development are all things that he seems to have a handle on and do really well. I really don’t see what the guy has to lose by not coming here. Better facilities, better players, better pay, better benefits. If he does well here he could write a book and people will actually buy it. Try doing that at Cincinatti.

  19. Look at this guys history, GVSU he was 41-2, took a TERRIBLE Central Michigan program over and in his last season, in the over recruited state of michigan, went 9-4 in his final season, and then look at what he has done at cincinnati, if this isn’t a winning resume and this won’t do, what will folks.

    1. You’re overstating this. At GVSU, Kelly was actually 118-35. He won a couple of national championships and clearly knows how to coach at that level.

      He did turn around a weak Central Michigan team. But, Cinci was a decent when Kelly began leading it. The big difference is that at Cincinnati, Kelly dominated. This shows that he is intense. You don’t win all your games — at any football level — without some serious commitment from the head coach.

      1. I did overstate, I was looking at the years I attended GVSU, but still solid numbers, and he will get better players at ND

  20. Big mistake. I do not believe that he has what it will take to turn ND around. Not a defensive coach and not as good as Charlie on the offensive side of the ball either. IN three years we will be right back at square one.

    1. Why does he light up Pitt for 45 points and UCONN when we could not, he does not have two first round picks in his skill player arsenal. Does more with less.

      1. Pitt lit him up for 44 by the way. At Cinci there are no rules, no pressure and if they win that is good. No pressure like at ND. We need a big time, big name coach like the Saban, Meyer, or even Carroll brand.

      2. Can you name one example of a big name, successful coaching leaving a big time program for another big time program? And Saban doesn’t count because he left the NFL b/c he hated coaching there.

        My point is that everyone wants to demand that ND get the big name coach, but fails to realize that those hires just don’t happen anywhere.

      3. So who is out there who is hirable? Get real — and the money is meaningless if the Stoops and Sabans of the world don’t want the job. Say what you want, but with an average recruiting class rated in the 60s for godssake, he is now in a BCS game and won against 2 common rivals we tanked against. please get a clue.

      4. You guys continue to drink the Kool Aid and we will be right back here when he isfired in 3 -4 years. Next year does not count since we have weak schedule anyway. I am just saying that we need someone eith fire in his belly. You guys wer probably the same ones who were overjoyed with Charlie. I hope the Irish make the reight choice.

    2. He george brian kelly is the biggest name out there that notre dame has any shot of getting (in case you haven’t been paying attention the meyers and stoops of college football have already publicly said no!) Besides kelly is the best out there who will listen and the right fit! I just hope we are lucky enough he says yes. Oh and kelly has way more fire than many college coaches, just watch any rerun of the cincy/pitt game he was chewing players and his coaches alike when things weren’t going right (he won that game with his coaching!) Hopefully we can sign hime soon!

    3. NDGeorge,

      Kelly has WON everywhere he’s been. And I DO NOT want to hear that the competition wasn’t the same. At Grand Valley State, he was 118-35. Division II is Division II and that record speaks for itself. He then went onto Central Michigan where in 3 years, he took a team that hadn’t had a winning record in 7 years and turned them into MAC Champs. Again, the MAC is the MAC and your opponents are playing equal competition. Now…he’s 33-6 at Cincinnati who hadn’t won shit except a 2002 C-USA Championship with a 7-6 record. And look at what’s he’s done there. The dude can WIN and he clearly knows how to coach. By the way…Cincy beat UConn and Pitt and Notre Dame did not. I know the argument is going to be the scores of each game, but guess what…they WON both games and at the end of the day, that’s what matters.

      I’m stoked about Kelly. He knows how to coach guys and how to win football games. I think an overall coaching record of 171-57 says it all.

  21. There may be a bunch of coaches out there that fit the bill of what we need, but I don’t know who any of those guys are. I do know Kelly has had success everywhere he has been. To be 33-6 at Cincinnati is pretty darn impressive. Our schedule isn’t unbearable where Kelly couldn’t come in and win 9 or 10 games a year. I think he is the guy ND needs.

  22. Well, it appears that Kelly may be the guy the ND goes with. I was really hoping for a coach that was much more defensive minded than Kelly. He has a background in denfense, but is known as an offensive football coach.

    I’m also weary that Swarbrick and ND haven’t recieved the interest that they had forcasted for the postion, and feel that they need to hire a “big name” instead of hiring the right guy for the job.

    Only time will tell, GO IRISH!

    1. If Petersen will not come to ND which I highly doubt lets look at the other candidates.

      Brian Kelley 5 th ranked UC coach

      History never anywher long enough to fully evaluate him better than Weis but who isn’t.

      Highly ranked offense no D but he did have to replace 11 defensive players; however, they are all juniors and seniors that Mark Dantonio recruited pluse his offense is all seniors and all Dantonio’ s guys.

      Why ND want Captain Comback!

      In the 3 years prior to Jim Harbaugh coming to Stanford they were 1-11 in 06 they were 4-7 in 05 they were 4-7 in 04.

      Harbaugh came in 2007 and went 4-8 in 08 he went 5-7 and was in every game the whole year. This year with 17 sophmores and juniors on Offense and Defense and a true freshman QB. He has a Heisman candidate and the 4 games he lost were by a combined 11 points all. He has a balanced system based on 240 yards rushing and 262 yards passing per game.

      I will personally volunteer to be the consulting firm to hire ND’s coach.

      Harbaugh has the mentality to try to win until the game is O V E R!!!!!! he had it as a player and he has it as coach.

      Last and most important reason. UCinn is a great Big East School but when it comes to Academics ND and Standford are nearly mirror images of each other. If Harbaugh stays at Stanford they will likely play for the title next year if he goes to ND it will take him 2 to 3 years max and ND will be coming back with Capatain Comeback.


      WE ARE ND


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