Brian Kelly’s Immediate To Do List

Now that Notre Dame has it’s head coach, the real work begins.  Brian Kelly will be introduced as the next head coach for Notre Dame Friday afternoon and will begin the process of putting his stamp on the Irish program in by filling out his coaching staff and closing out this year’s recruiting class.  Here’s a run down of what Kelly will need to do over the next few weeks as he begins his Notre Dame career.

Now that he has the job, Brian Kelly has the daunting task of filling out his staff and closing out this recruiting class. (Photo - Icon SMI)

Get the absolute best defensive coordinator he can

With Notre Dame hiring an offensive minded coach, the single most important assistant position for Brian Kelly is the defensive coordinator position. For five years Charlie Weis tried unsuccessfully to find a defensive coordinator that could give the Irish the “nasty” defense he sought and at the end of the day, Weis’s inability to find a defensive coordinator up to the task was one of the biggest reasons the Weis era ended after just five seasons.

Weis brought in a coach familiar with Notre Dame in as his first defensive coordinator when he hired Rick Minter. After two seasons of poor defense and bowl game defensive debacles, Minter wasn’t brought back and Weis went Corwin Brown – a young, energetic, up and coming defensive coach. Despite Brown showing promise as a defensive coordinator early on, Weis panicked a bit in 2008 and added former Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta to the staff casting a shadow on who really was the defensive coordinator in 2008. Then this past season, with his job on the line, he turned the defense over to Tenuta.

Three defensive coordinators in five years is no way to build a defense, and is a mistake that Kelly cannot repeat if he is to be successful.

Two possibilities for the defensive coordinator position appear to be Bob Diaco, Kelly’s defensive coordinator at Cincinnati, and Chuck Martin, the current Grand Valley State head coach and Kelly’s former DC at GVST. Both seem to be fine defensive minded coaches, but Kelly would be wise to look outside his circle for a big time defensive coordinator that he can work with to build the type of physical, hardnosed, dare I say nasty defense Notre Dame has been lacking.

Fill out his staff

Kelly’s staff will most likely be a mix of some of his assistants at Cincinnati, some current Notre Dame assistants, and maybe an outside assistant or two. Because Kelly hasn’t had a lot of success recruiting on a national scale, he will need to fill out his staff with some coaches who have that experience and can ease the transition for him.

Kelly’s recruiting coordinator specifically should be someone who is familiar with recruiting on a national scale. Charlie Weis brought in Rob Ianello from Wisconsin when he was hired and Ianello turned out to be a vital piece of the recruiting cog Weis built while at Notre Dame. Kelly will need to find a recruiting coordinator who can do the same for him. Ianello would have been an ideal candidate to be held over from the previous staff, but he accepted the head coaching position at Akron on Thursday.

Of the current Notre Dame assistants that could be held over, Kelly would be wise to put on the full court press for running back coach Tony Aflord. Alford’s skill as a coach and a recruiter would be a vital asset to Kelly’s staff at Notre Dame. It’s been reported that Urban Meyer is interested in adding Alford to his staff at Florida already so Kelly will have some competition.

Another coach I wouldn’t mind seeing come back is Corwin Brown. I’ve long been a fan of Corwin Brown and certainly would not want to see Notre Dame have to go up against Brown on the recruiting trail. Would Brown be willing to come back on the staff as a position coach similar to how Greg Mattison stayed on staff under Ty Willingham as a defensive line coach after serving as Bob Davie’s defensive coordinator? Would Kelly considering Brown as his defensive coordinator? Brown did, after all, produce the two best defenses of the Weis era.

When Tyrone Willingham came to Notre Dame, one of the mistakes he made was bringing almost his entire Stanford staff with him. That staff, like Kelly’s at Cincinnati, lacked a lot of big program experience and that hurt them on the recruiting trail. Kelly has assembled a strong staff at Cincy, but he’ll need some assistants with some more experience at big programs.

An example for Kelly to follow would be to bring in a coach like Weis did with David Cutcliffe. Weis brought the former Ole Miss head coach in as his quarterbacks coach when he was first hired, but unfortunately Cutcliffe never made it to Notre Dame due to needing some time off for health reasons before spring ball in 2005. I’ve always wondered just how much differently the Weis era would have played out had Cutcliffe joined Weis in South Bend and served as a sounding board as he learned his way as a head coach, but I digress.  Finding a similar hire would be a great component for Kelly’s staff.

Another important component for Kelly will be his strength and conditioning coach.  The strength and conditioning program has been a source of debate over the last few years after seeing Notre Dame continually blow fourth quarter leads.

Win over the current players

Recruiting is going to be critical for Kelly in the short term, but perhaps even more important is winning over the current players. Kelly needs to walk into the Gug tomorrow to meet with the team and win them over right away and get them to buy into his vision.

There’s bound to be some transfers at some point. There almost always is with a coaching change, but limiting (or eliminating) any possible transfers and getting the players trust early is very important for Kelly.

Remember, these players for the most part loved Weis. There’s bound to still be some hard feelings about Weis being let go. Kelly needs to assure the team that he is there to win and knows what it is going to take to return Notre Dame to national title contention much the way Lou Holtz did from day one.

Shore up all of the current commitments

Weis and the current staff did an outstanding job of selling Notre Dame to this year’s recruits. They didn’t recruit them to come to Notre Dame for the coaching staff, but rather for the University itself. Early returns are very positive from the recruits and it seems like any decommitments will be minimal outside of Chris Martin who has already decommitted.  Still, it will be very important for Kelly to secure these commitments and make sure that any lingering concerns and put to rest.

The fact that most of the current commitments are solid with their selections is a testament to Weis and the current staff – especially the assistant coaches who have stayed on staff since Weis was fired last Monday and have continued to hit the recruiting trail for the Irish.

There are still quite a few elite recruits left on the board for Notre Dame this so Kelly will need to work fast in securing all of the current commitments so at the very least, he keeps the core of this class together.

Hit the recruiting trail running for uncommitted and decommitted recruits

Notre Dame is still pursuing several elite prospects at key positions for this class that could take this from a solid class to something much better. Prospects such as Seantrel Henderson (OL), Corey Cooper (S/WR), Anthony Barr (RB/LB/DE), Ego Furgeson (DE), Matt James (OL), and Brandon Linder (OL) to name a few. It’s also possible that Notre Dame could get back in on Chris Martin now that the Irish have a coach.

Kelly is in a much better position than Charlie Weis was in 2004 when he took over for a couple of reasons. First off, Kelly will be hitting the ground running by not coaching Cincinnati’s bowl game. In 2004, Weis was in the middle of a title run with the Patriots and stayed on staff until New England’s season ended with a Super Bowl win. The Super Bowl ended up coming after National Signing Day and while Weis did the best he could while still working with Pats, recruiting definitely suffered in the short term that first year.

Secondly, Weis and his staff did a much better job of recruiting in their final season than Willingham’s which left Notre Dame with a MAC level commitment list. Kelly has a much better set of committed players and a pool of much more talented prospects to work on to close out this class.

Kelly has a lot to tackle in the immediate future as he takes over at Notre Dame. Luckily for the Irish, he will not be coaching a bowl game next month and can focus his efforts 100% on taking care of what he needs to at Notre Dame.

The coaching search was fun while it lasted, but the next few weeks of recruiting and staff building are going to be just as importance for laying the foundation for success in this new era of Notre Dame football as the result of the search itself was.

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  1. you were right about charlie.I cared about him he is the best quarterback coach ever. and maybe the bst ever recruiting coach, In these times when every coach has a list..and they all it difficut for A NON CONFERENCE coach to even get to talk with stars…And with the enternet
    negative neighbobs… every coach uses the negative talk to discourage recruits in three years i’ve heARD of about five good athletes atND who were blasted by

  2. Theo did look decent for a freshmen but I still feel that Jonas Gray has the ability to be a STUD college running back.

    My theory on Jonas is based on how he looked on a few run over the past two yrs. He did the most once he got into the open field.

    Theo is a freshmen who got a better look then jonas this yr.
    I believe jonas was a dog house guy and the fumble in Michigan is all that it took to confirm CW views on him.

    theo has quickness but never broke a run.
    Any gang banger off the street can run through a hole it is what you do in the open field that separates you from the next guy.

    Theo, aa, and Hughes hasn’t impressed me. Jonas has. I am not judging by One run or one series.

    I could be completely wrong but for the last two yrs we never had the opportunity to find out. I hope this yr we do.

    3 season ago tate had 3 go routes thrown to him in 1 game and he came down with two of them. It was a typical in traffic catch that we become accustomed to from tate. after the 3 passes I didn’t see tate for the rest of the season. Maybe his offense was just that complex.
    Shaq evans got the call on ND biggest play of the season this yr against michigan and then we didn’t see much of him the rest of the yr. again it didn’t make much sense to me.

  3. wow your right, I like Theo Riddick he is probably the best RB on the roster.

    I think Evans is just fast he doesn’t have great hands his route running is spotty at best.

    Goodman yeah he reminds me of Samardizja, not the best athlete on the field but he’ll make something happen, i do like Deion walker as the 3rd or 2nd wide receiver

  4. Kelly needs to add Jeff Genyk as the OC, his warp speed offense has been a huge help for the bearcats, and would be unstoppible at ND.

  5. Is everyone forgetting Theo Riddick? He was a freshmen. Already probably quickest guy on the team and will only get stronger and faster and learn the playbook beter. I believe he is the best rb on the team at “running” right now. maybe not blocking but whatever he will learn.

    I’d like to see shaq evans in there opposite of Floyd with rudolph in the middle obviously. Shaq is a deep threat and has too much talent to not develop. I like goodman in there as well. He has good hands and runs good routes. I believe i am the only exception to this but everyone disliked robby toma. I actually believe he could be a very good slot wr such as wes welker. I’d like to see him as our 4th wr possibly unless one of the freshmen can come in and do something. O and i forgot deion walker…lol sorry. put him before toma. he has speed as well. he may even be 3rd wr ahead of goodman

    1. I’m just going to admit it, I love watching Toma.

      Not near as much as I loved seeing Tate, but watching him get on the field and get open got me excited.

      He’s classic; too short, too slow, too weak, yet he keeps getting open.

      For all Weis’ shortcomings, giving Toma a chance wasn’t one of them. The kid made decent plays when called upon as a freshman. One who started the year on scout team.

      I’m not saying he’s better than the big play guys. I’m just saying he’s a smart player, and one who brings something to the table.

  6. I am still a fan of Jonas Gray… The best run this season from a running back was a toss right to Gray against Nevada. He was able to break a tackle (AA can’t) and then run away from the Defense (Hughes can’t). Jonas did miss blitz pickups, fumbled and ran directly into the back of his O-Line, which is a sign of inexperience and nervousness. Running backs need confidence. I think he is a game changing back, not a nice complimentary back like AA and Hughes, both of whom I love.

    No one game plans to stop AA or hughes but I believe Jonas could be a difference maker Speed/power. I hope we don’t Lose him..

    Hughes had some quality runs: the one for a score where he didn’t stop his feet.
    But he was fortunate to break off a long run out of a huge hole which AA or Jonas would have scored.

    AA is quicker and showed signs of improvement this yr, but on an avg run he gets slightly better than avg results..

    I want a back who occasionally gets good/ great results out of an avg. run play.

  7. Ballhog, the training table used to be the norm at ND. It was when my dad was a student there (a Phys Ed Major, way back in the days of Leahy) and nobody batted an eyelash. When I was at ND working as a media analyst in the 90’s I employed a walk-on football player who complained about the lack of dining options after practice. So this isn’t like the players are eating with the general student population anyway. The training table makes sense.

    BK knows what he’s doing. After so many years of incompetent coaches having someone with a clue causes a touch of congitive dissonance. I’m so used to the losing I get a nervous twitch whenever I think, “Hey, this guy really can coach!”

    Someone said above that Bob Davie, and Rick Minter were two of the best DC’s ever at ND. Neither one won anything while there. It was Barry Alvarez in 1988 who last took the Irish to the Promised Land. I’m going out on a limb here and say that Alvarez was likely the best of the three DC’s.

    Listened to BK on Mike & Mike. He’s definitely charismatic. More importantly, he has a plan and he’s executing it. I get the sense he has a vision of where he wants his team to be, and the impressions we have of certain players will change. He’ll challenge these kids, and push them beyond their own preconceived limitations. I like that. So the names might be familiar next year, but how (and where) they play next season will cause some of the cognitive dissonance I mentioned. (“Wait, who just sacked Barkley and knocked the rider off the Trojan horse in the same move?”. . .)

    I’m waiting for this comment, or something like it:

    “Man, I swear I saw smoke coming out of Ethan Johnson’s nostrils as broke through the line. I didn’t think *enter QB’s name* was alive until his foot twitched.”

    That comes from the training table through every other detail in that player’s development.

  8. irishchan, jack swarbrick tracked certain things this year(weight lost, how many players were using the dining halls) and has said that they are going to look into a training table as a top priority.

    1. Really, I dislike anything that tends to separate the football players from the rest of the student body. It’s one of the things that sets ND apart. No separate table, no athletic dorm, no football-player classes…I’m sure ND has pretty advanced nutritional instructions for the players to go along with the lifting/workout plans. The players know what they’re supposed to be eating on a daily basis. I mean, what does a training table do, force-feed skinless chicken breasts to the players?

      1. i know it sets nd apart from everybody, but i feel this is minor. 42% of the players used the dining halls. where were the other 58% eating? i would rather them eating what they need(provided at a training table) rather than what’s open(burger king,etc.). just my two cents.

      2. Charlie didn’t look like he was losing any weight during the season. Maybe he should have used some of his 18 million to feed his players!!!

  9. Keeping Alford is a great move. He recruits and his backs run hard and don’t fumble. There was no group on the team that showed more improvement from last year than the running backs.

    Is anyone else concerned about setting up a training table for the players? I don’t like it.

    1. considering our players lost an average of 17 lbs over the course of the season, no, i see it as a must. it won’t take away from the experience of the athletes being mixed in with the regular student body. consider the athletes schedule. at the end of their day, the dining halls are closed. where do they eat then? burger king?

      @kevin, i wouldn’t say fleming did nothing. he progressed alot during the year and became disruptive in the backfield. as for filer, that is anybody’s guess. he should have played more. the “scheme” on defense this year sucked and it made them look bad. a simpler scheme would let these guys shine in my opinion.

      1. Where is the article or information about the “Training Tables,” and the players losing so much weight over the course of the season?

  10. “joey d”

    you know what I was gonna jump out with Darius Fleming but this year he didn’t do much of anything, idk why Steve Filer didn’t play, the only reason i can think of was hey the coaches just thought the others were better

    1. The answer is that chuck had a ‘man crush’ and the smith boys!!!

      Filer is awesome! He should have been playing middle linebacker

  11. Kelly will be totally in charge of the program in all aspects which is long overdue. He talks about the RKP’s the right kind of players. We will see a bunch of players in different positions next year. He has an eye like Holtz who knows where players fit best. I am sure this will also cause some bumps in the road for some players and fans. I see regardless of record a total 180 in Irish attitude and play next year for sure! Make no mistake – this process will be a major adjustment thus his focus on committment and desire from his players and coaches. Finally a guy who most thought ND should go after and he was hired in the end. This is big for a program that has been through much over the last 12 yrs. I for one am pumped! Kelly is definitely the right guy at the right time for the right job and he wanted to be here for a very long time. The guy is emotional on the sideline something lacking since Holtz was let go. He is never satisfied which reminds me also of Holtz and is a critical part of the equasion of building a dominant team. The Blue Gold game should be something special this year! Would not doubt a crowd of at least 45,000 on April 17th. GO IRISH! Welcome coach Kelly!

  12. Kev,

    thanks for the run down of the future.

    On Education in college

    These programms should at least set up a mandatory learning center for these young men, and not let them play if the don’t progress. It doesn’t take much to have a decent 12 yr education. In 4to5 yrs of college you could easily educate the players 8 to 10 yrs with a specialized program.
    If there atheleticism got some of the kids out of the ghetto into a decent program the program should guarantee them a legitimate EDUCation. Even if it is kindergarten through 12th grade.

  13. corwin brown was well regarded as a coach and recruiter
    by most reports. he will be a loss as well as defensive
    coach from u washington

  14. First pink slip is out. Corwin Brown won’t be coming back next year. As others have said before me, I sure he finds his way back to the NFL immediately so we don’t have to worry about him recruiting elsewhere.

    Thanks are in order for the guy, as he did recruit his heart out. He came on during a tough time and the whole Tenuta (who’s in charge?)situation didn’t help either.

    Thanks, Corwin.

  15. One thing that concerns me is talk of a training table for the football athletes. Swarbrick mentioned defensive players losing 13 lbs. over the season. Some article mentioned trying to improve all the little things to achieve success and discussed, in part, the mechanics of implementing a training table. I’d hate to see this as one of the unique aspects of ND that make it so special is that the varsity players are treated like regular students and I’d hate to see a step that segregates them from the general student population, even a little bit.

  16. “power run ball”

    I look forward to Dayne Crist but i think one of the pre-enrolling freshman might actualy start over him, bcuz Crist wont be back to late in SUMMER training while the freshman will be able to learn the system starting in the spring

    Hughes can POUND the ball! I’m not a big Gray fan and i think Allen will explode in his senior year and be a dominating RB

    I don’t think Evans will make a big impact but one of hte other “unknown” receivers will start opposite floyd

    Rudolph will be all-american next year bcuz he’ll be the security blanket for whoever is the QB

    O-line will have a 2008 year not as bad as 2007 but not fantastic

    D-line… we’ll see

    Teo-STUD, ik others don’t agree but i like Brian Smithes fire, i think he does a good job at LB but the fire is great, Darius Fleming needs to have a good year

    DB’s- uh oh, Harrison Smith, can’t cover, Jamoris Slaughter he could be good,Robert Blanton-freshman phenom but won’t be as great as his freshman year, who else is there?

    E.J. Banks-ACL injury his senior year of high school sat out theis year
    Cierre Wood-Redshirted, i guess didn’t impress them during summer
    Tyler STockon-refer to Cierre wood’s reason
    Steve Filer-buried under other extremely talented LB’s
    Deion Walker-buried under Floyd and Tate, is my pick to explode this year
    Carlo Calobres/Dan Fox-redshirted, buried under talented LB’s

  17. “power run ball”

    I look forward to Dayne Crist but i think one of the pre-enrolling freshman might actualy start over him, bcuz Crist wont be back to late in SUMMER training while the freshman will be able to learn the system starting in the spring

    Hughes can POUND

    1. Doesn’t seem right or fair.
      Just because a kid can play football some schools find a “loophole” to get him addmitted.
      Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing agianst a person who is ruled to have a learning disability, to be entitled to fair and equil treatment.
      But when they showed that 37 students were deemed “LD” then
      the fields that they were admitted for(1 for music, 1 for liberal arts, and 35 for football) you know that the system is being abused.
      And the bottom line was that the football program won the national title, while most of the “35” ended up in jail or working in a gas station.
      Maybe those BCS comuters that help determine the top ranked teams should take into account admission standards, team GPA, curriculum difficulty, and graduation rates. It is college after all where learning should come first.

      1. the question that i asked at first was, what would these kids have done without football?

        probably drop out of highschool and work for minimum wage somewhere/end up in jail…

        the problem is the amount of money the schools make on the backs of these players. it is only fair that they at least get a DECENT education in exchange for the tens of millions they bring in annually.

        i agree with a previous post, how can they graduate from highschool without being able to read? better yet, how do you get past second grade???

        i still think many of the best universities in the world are right here in the us, however, our primary and secondary schools are not so good

    1. And what happened to the kid that couldn’t read?
      According to the video he got some Cracker Jack degree.
      Got passed over by the NFL.
      And ened up with some 4th. rate job, normally given to high school students.
      And the university?
      The video showed the dad-gum coach winning a National Title and holding up a Crystle Football. Nice.

  18. How the other half lives? Interesting reading in ESPN today. Check out the story by Tom Farrey titled : Seminoles helped by “LD” diagnoses.
    Just when you think that you’ve heard it all.

      1. I was just amazed to learn that there kids playing major college football that can’t read!
        20 years ago I wouldn’t have blinked. But this is 2010.(give or take a couple of weeks)
        How does a kid go through 12 years of schooling and not be able to read?
        According to this kid’s statement, he didn’t seemed too concerned that he couldn’t read until he found out that without it, he couldn’t play college ball. Then he found a school that would do it for him.

  19. I still have High hopes for Dayne Crist. I liked what I saw when he played and last season he was competeing for clausen job.

    Is montana comming back any news on him?

    Armondo allen and hughes- can catch the rock.

    Jonas Gray to me is a must play and the best running back on the team.

    Floyd- stud
    Shaq evan will be a nice player with floyd getting all kinds of attention

    Rudolph- is a stud in my book

    OLine- I believe will be dominant under Kelly

    D-line- all one yr older- new recruit Louis Nix looks like a contributor his first season.
    What happen to tyler stockton.
    Teo stud and 1 yr older– everyone 1 yr older –Maybe Brian Smith will stop running his mouth and make a play this season

    DB- still a ton of talent

    what happen to EJ Banks, Cierre Wood, Tyler Stockton,steve filer, deion walker, Carlo Calobrese and Dan Fox.

  20. next season>

    looking at the schedule next season ND has 5 must wins and 7 other games which if he can manage a 4 to 3 ration that would be a 9 win season. at this point anything more would be gravy.
    USC—soph QB
    Michigan—soph QB
    Michigan State– don’t know
    Pitt—good this yr
    BC—don’t want to overlook them
    Stanford–losing gerhardt.
    Utah- who scares me b/c I don’t know anything about them.

    1. these are the type of expectations that get us into trouble. sure, coaches have had success right away at many programs, but it is usually year 2-3. even lou, who has a bronz statue of his own, went 5-6 to start. our d was atrocious last year and our qb will have yet to start a game. let’s all take a deep breath and expect another .500 season while bk gets his system in place and players figured out, all the while HOPING for a 10 win season. i like bk and think he will be a legend, but let’s give him some time.

      1. ted,
        one of the main reasons I felt that CW had to go was that he had all this great talent on both sides of the ball but couldn’t win with them. The 2010 team was said to be “loaded” with talent.
        That was supposed to be CW’s big year. CW proved that he just couldn’t win enough games, and to keep him on for another year would be a great waste of that talent. BK stated that he has a 5 minute plan not a 5 year plan. I think he will win, and win right away with these players.
        His system? His system is to evaluate the talent then organize the players to get the most out of them. Every player brings something to the table. He will find a time and a place to utilize each one. We have some of the brightest kids in college football. They will pick it up right away, and run with it.
        4 consectutive top 10 recruiting classes will bring expectations no matter who the coach is.

      2. I’ve got to be honest, I’m on the fence with this one. I believe Brian Kelly is a GREAT coach (and has proven this) and he’s walking into Notre Dame, who has plenty of talent to win 9/10/11 games.

        My concern is similar to Ted’s. While I’m hoping for 10 wins, I wouldn’t be surprised by 7 or 8 wins. BK is clearly good, but he has yet to practice with these guys and see what they can really do. And just reiterate Ted’s point…Crist has yet to start and coming off knee surgery. Let’s look at next season for what it is…a CHANGE, whether immediate or not, it’s still a change and no one really knows who will start at QB, WR (opposite Floyd), RB, etc…

        I’m excited to see what BK is going to do, but I’m reluctant to expect HUGE things from this team when we’re not sure who is coming to play on Saturdays yet.

      3. If you don’t know who our RB is by now, I don’t know what to tell you.

        It’s Armando Allen.

        That’s what I guess I should tell you.

      4. I don’t discount that its Armando Allen, but how will carries/playing time be split with Robert Hughes, Jonas Gray, Theo Riddick, and Cierre Wood behind him. I want to let BK make his own line-up before we start assuming everything for him. The only place that needs dramatic change is Defense but I’m not going to assume he’s going to keep everything as is on Offense. I want to see what he can do with what he sees in our current roster as opposed to what we see.

      5. CW clearly had his faults and short comings, but developing QB’s wasn’t one of them. Crist toutered under CW for 2 years. He wasn’t thrown to the dogs like Clausen was.
        I think Crist will be better than JC becuse of this and he will benefit from a better O-Line, a better running game, and a deeper receiver corp.
        I do exspect the best. Why pay millions of dollars for coaching?
        Why spend huge amounts to upgrade the facilities?
        Why work so hard securing top tier talent if you can’t think big?
        That’s what it’s all about. I don’t know if you guys were around for the last national championship, but I was. Back then the prediction was that Lou would challenge in year 4.
        But hand it to Lou, he wasn’t about to waste even a single year of oppertunity.
        And that’s what we have in 2010, a great oppertunity.

  21. ND recently updated the stadium and increased capacity. Then there is the new “Gug” center. Offices, traing rooms, conference room, media center.
    New indoor practice fields as well as redone out-door practice fields.
    The NBC Television deal. World wide fan base. Assigned parking for coaches and staff.
    Cincy has none of this. BK spent a third of his time doing fund raisers for UC. That’s what makes UC a stepping stone and ND a destination.
    The man has the talent and the tools. He’s going to be another ledgend by the time he is done here. He could win a National Championship next year. Then agian, he might not. What won’t happen is another 6-6. He will do better than that.
    We are ND, and we are back!

    1. He could win a National Championship next year? We’re already calling for title hunh?

      We don’t need to practice for Kelly to evaluate the team? We don’t need to HIRE a coaching staff?

      Lol….I like your enthusiamsm, but how about the Irish hit 9-3 or 10-2 before we go and play a team like Bama for the championship game?

      1. I have followed CW and his recruiting. 4 consectutive top ten classes. There is talent and depth. There is also expierence. ND played a lot of players on both sides of the ball. Kelly is a great offensive mind. He put up a ton of points at Cincy and he has a better offense here at ND.
        The defense was improving up until this past season. They have been taught the 3-4, as well as the 4-3. Bring in the right defensive coach. Teach fundimentals, add a player here and there, then add a little confedence and they can be the defense that we all thought they would be.
        It’s college football. Things can change very fast.
        I’ve seen other programs turn it around over night.
        Why not us?
        There is no law that says that just because ND has a new coach that they aren’t allowed to win big right away.
        I exspected CW to compete for a national title in 2010.
        Everything pointed to that season. The talent, the experience, the schedule.
        We are going to shock the world, you’re self included.

      2. I like your optimism. That’s what the team’s attitude should be next year. Belief in themselves. Enthusiasm. Toughness. Fight. That’s what ND football is all about. BK will bring that back.

      3. You make a compelling argument for a big turnaround season next year, and I agree with everything you’re saying, however, I’m not sure we’re ready for a title run next year. I still think we’re a couple of years away from being able to give teams like Bama, Florida, and Texas a competitive run for the title.

        Each one of those teams have nearly equal talent on both sides of the ball, plus future hall of fame coaches to lead them, teach them, and get the most out of them.

        Look, I’m overjoyed that BK is now our head coach, and I don’t need to repeat every detail about the man that makes him a very interesting candidate to become the next Holtz and lead ND back to prominence and a national power house. However, I’m also not going to allow myself to expect it next year.

        CW was an instrumental in bringing ND back, due to his recruiting, and he did an amazing job in that department. He has given BK a stable full of 4 consecutive top 10 recruiting classes for BK to work his unique talents on. But, we still have some question at key positions.

        Q.B.: Crist hasn’t had a lot of playing time, and will be coming off a major knee injury. When will he be able to take reps with the first team offense, and will he be ready to play by the first game? If he isn’t, how strong of a replacement do we have? Now, if a q.b. is playing at ND, there’s no doubt the kid can play football, but look how long it took JC to become the football player that we saw this year. We started to see flashes of what was to become near the end of last season. So, in my mind, QB has question mark by it.

        Offensive line: We are losing some seasoned, experienced lineman this year. The o-line is going to have to be great, not ok, if we are trying to play a defense like Bama’s or Texas in a title game.

        Defense: Ok, I’m really hoping that there is more talent on this side of the ball and we have not seen it due to poor coaching, because if the talent level is as poor as they played then we are in trouble, and Crist is going to have to throw 5 td’s a game.

        Here’s the deal, I’m just as excited that Kelly is going to do wonders for this Irish team and be able to “coach up” a much more talented and athletic team than he has ever coached before, but we really do have some concerns. Personally, I would be overjoyed to see BK lead us to a 9-3, 10-2 season next year. After all, that’s just short of what we were supposed to do this past year with one of the best offensive units in the country.

        GO IRISH!!!!

  22. Brian Kelly has been ascending the coaching ladder with success every step of the way. Great! Notre Dame is his next step up the ladder. And that’s the thing. The Peter Principle talks about going up level-by-level until one ends up at one’s level of incompetence. I truly hope this won’t be the case with Coach Kelly. May Coach Kelly have his most wonderful success coaching Notre Dame football. Best wishes!

  23. Welcome to Notre Dame BK! Here’s your offical ND gold leaf engraved rectal video thermometer. This is useful confirming where you will find most of your ardent ND alums, football fans and media pundits heads. They already know more than you do about football and are degreed alumnuts to prove it…..just ask them! Be prepared to hand out at least 80,000 boxes of depends on your first play call these arm chair alumnuts don’t like.

    For the rest of us mortal alums, an unperfect 12-1 National Championship will be greatly appreciated whenever it comes.

    Lastly, no pressure, beware of the student body embracing a new mantra on bookstore endorsed t-shirts (directed unfavorably towards the head coach), no cryptic agenda here, just time to find a new dream. “We are ND!”

  24. I understand your reasoning on not wanting a committee. I just thought with the players very loyal to CW especially Manti, it is important to take them into consideration. As far as a committee of 10 being valued more than a the other 110 I disagree. I want my 10 leaders on the team to express the concerns of the whole team, but I understand your thoughts on the committee. Kelly needs to get into South Bend this week and solidify the recruiting class. He then needs to put his foot in the ass of these players when they get back from winter break. They are going to hate him at first because he is not going to coddle them like CW did. He is going to demand perfection from them, as any coach would. They will hate him but when the season starts and they see results, they will respect him and grow to love him. It is time for a coach to demand perfection and have a plan to reach it. We will see at the first game.

  25. well then I quess the other finest coaches in the nation. which are who?

    to me having a committee of 10 can be a dicey situation. first of all who decides which players are a part of the committee.
    not the head coach.
    is it someone who really doesn’t know the kids like the AD, or is it coaches that might be on the chopping block.
    I guess ten players opinion on the ND team is valued and the other 110 are not. I like to have good communication with my players and to gather info where ever i can get it, but Mr. Swarbrick seems to found of the idea of his committee.
    It sounds nice and I know we live in a kinder and gentler world when all decision are made with our kids, but I am still very intrigue by the best coaches in the nation…

    To me BK isn’t a no brainer, but again i am hopefull.
    He did sound like a politician doing a lot of circling which didn’t make much sense.(probably like this comment)
    Lets hope that he is great..

  26. The three names you just put out there would not have come to ND. Gruden is an NFL guy, Stoops is at Oklahoma and is happy, Meyer said no once, Saban wouldn’t be able to function in the ND environment. Having the players involved was crucial to let them know that they are a part of the university. I thought is was a good idea and I am sure they didn’t make the decision but gave input.

  27. So now notre dame football is now being run by 18 to 22 yr old football players.(COMMITTEE)

    I know when i played college ball(not for ND) I thought I knew everything but as you grow older you get wiser and you learn from all your stupid mistakes.

    I am hopeful that BK does a great job, but the comment that the best coaches in the nation inquired about the ND coaching position really makes me wonder…. WHO?





    I hope BK isn’t only a great politician who talks in circles. I hope he can actually get the right coaches and players to ND and WIN games.

    Manti teo is awesome

  28. I think it would be best to try to get chuck martin as his dc… another head coach who knows what kelly does as his former dc… also I do not think that he will be successful getting commitments this year because he still does not have an experience and it would be hard for him base on experience.. but next year would be a different story when he finishes at the top, it would be easier for him to recruit… I think do not focus yet on recruiting because weis made a nice recruitment and our recruitment is still on the top 15… So i think he should focus on winning first and recruitment will be easier when he wins… UC is having a stronger and stronger recruits when he is winning and players will also go here when we win.

  29. well i think for the first year,i would like to see 8-4 or 9-3 at least.we got the right guy.just have to let him work.we need more playmakers on D

    GO IRISH!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. I think that bringing back Corwin Brown as a Defensive coordinator would be a disaster even if ESPN types want that scenario to develop. Rick Minter is the best Defensive coordinator that ND ever had except for Bob Davie. Notre Dame needs to recruit a whole bunch of OL and DT’s to bolster the team and by all means get a placekicker!

    1. What was wrong with Tausch? Then when he got hurt, Ruffer did a fine job. Please explain what’s wrong with 19/22 on FGs, especially considering Tausch is a True Freshman and Ruffer was a walk-on. When was the last time we were 19/22 on FG tries?? This was the first year in a while that I was comfortable with a kicker on the field.

  31. Just saw another report on ESPN about the ND player reactions and the term “High Energy” kept coming up. Again, it sounds like CW just didn’t bring the passion and excitment that a college football team needs.

    Also heard an interview with Lou Holtz explaining that whenever ND hired a coach with extensive head coaching experience at the college level, a national championship followed.

    The more I look at this guy, the more I get excited. He is a proven winner and he definately has the experience. He also said in his press conference that he had a list of coaches he can talk to to fill his staff. CW had to build his staff based on recommendations by other coaches.

    I’m predicting a Top 10 finish in 2010. Can’t wait until next Septemeber.

  32. I listen to Rivals radio on Sirius every morning and Bill King loves Kelly. He said at the beginning of the season if CW fails ND better get this guy. This time in ND football reminds me of when Faust left and Holtz took over. BK has a lot of energy like coach Holtz and I think he will have no problem getting players to fall in love with South Bend. Also did anyone hear in Swarbrick’s press conference he had a leadership commitee of players who worked with him. Great job by our AD. One of those players was Manti which is smart. As BK said lets move forward and live in the moment. I don’t make predictions I am just getting excited about watching ND football. How many days until the first game?

    1. I agree, a few weeks ago Anus Eagle said something that made me stop for a second when he asked if we really enjoyed watching ND football. And I had to admit that no, I wasn’t enjoying it not only because they were losing games, since I can handle losing games. Instead, it was the feeling that this team, with the right coach, could be so much more. Sure, there were great individual performance, as seen by Tate’s winning the WR award, but overall, there was something seriously wrong with this team. I believe that ND has the right guy now. He won’t win every game, but he obviously knows how to coach. Watching ND football is about to get fun again.

      1. i agree with having manti on the leadership committee. he will be key to getting the d turned around and we need him on board.
        we also need to get our oline and dline in the weight-room this offseason. suh’s talent was ‘developed’ because he got ridiculously strong in addition to becoming more athletic. i dont hear anyone on nd’s line saying they can bench 450lbs…
        GO IRISH!

  33. I guess I have to change my name to pass the ball downfield and hope that our qb and wr’s have good days.

  34. Watched some video of the players reaction and they seemed excited. Several comments made about his passion, do you think they realized what was missing with Charlie? Even Chris Zorich said that ND was very “Professional” over the last 5 years, but the team lacked emotion which is critical to the college game. Brian Kelly seems to get that.

    It cracks me up as I read some of these posts about what BK should do and who he should hire. I’m pretty sure he has it all figured out and he really doesn’t need our help. Seriously, do we really understand who we just hired? This guy has been a head coach for 19 YEARS and has won 74% of his games. There are times where everything just seems to fall into place and I think it has fallen into place for ND. He has a PROVEN system and he gets to do it on one of the biggest stages in college football.

    I think ND is back and they are back in a big, big way. He will lead ND to a National Championship very soon.

  35. I feel BK understands what ND is about. That is the most important thing. His intro speach was excellent. It echoed a lot of things that Coach Holtz said in his time at ND. I think it was a good hire and I can’t wait to actually watch a season and hopefully enjoy it.

  36. Kelly’s press conference today was AWESOME!!!!!!

    It made me want to punch Pete Carroll right in the face.

    Much more professional than Weis’s press conference 5 years ago.

    1. In his excellent speech, BK uttered one word that really caught my attention: “DEVELOPMENT.” He stressed how important that will be to him. Amen, brother!
      Looking back over the last five years, how many players can we honestly say improved their skills/techniques over their careers at ND? I can think of Clausen and Tate; perhaps a few others. To me, Sam Young was the poster-player of underdevelopment. Imagine how good he(and many others)could have been with competant coaching and nurturing…

      1. ESPN just replayed the TOBY game vs. ND’s poweder puff defense……in watching the third and fourth quarters again it’s obvious that no one was coaching the linebackers how to play linebacker!!!!

        Can we get a coach that will DEVELOP Manti, Filer, and Flemming into a wrecking machine….PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

  37. PS said something to the extent, ‘do you think tate came to notre dame because of the admission standards?’ YES
    what were his final two colleges coming out of highschool? VANDERBILT and NOTRE DAME…enough said
    he came to nd for academics, which implies he came for the high admissions standards because the best schools are the hardest to get into. just ask antonin scalia(complete ass of a supreme court justice) referring to choosing a SCOTUS clerk,

    ‘I’m going to be picking from the law schools that, basically, are the hardest to get into. They admit the best and the brightest, and they may not teach very well, but you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. If they come in the best and the brightest, they’re probably going to leave the best and the brightest.’

    we all know the flaws of the education system in the us, but he says what most people think. imo, it really doesn’t matter where you get your undergrad degree from unless it is an ivy league school, or close to it, like nd. not that a bachelor’s degree from anywhere else should be scoffed at, they are just a dime a dozen.

    1. Ted,

      To echo your point, Tate and Clausen BOTH stated very clearly that they’re going to finish their degrees from ND. Both of them mentioned the importance to them of having a degree from ND. Players do come to ND for an education. It’s not always a liability, it’s an asset.

  38. I have a great idea. Let’s allow Brian Kelly to select and hire his staff. He has the coaching acumen to make excellent choices…otherwise why would he have the record he brings to Notre Dame.

  39. I’m reading a lot of crazy ideas basically reaffirming that we’re fans.

    For starters, CW is gone. It’s over. the best thing towards moving forward is to do just that. Move on.

    BK made some statements today that I think are very valid. For starters, he’s a head coach, not just an offensive coach. I think a lot of people glossed over it, but I’m interested to see what he does at OC.

    Jeff Quinn will be coaching Cincy in the Bowl game. IE: he’s not immediately available to join BK, if that’s what he chooses to do. Why this is important? Jeff Quinn has been an integral part of BK’s staff for the past 21 years. Read that again, and ask yourself if getting the right OC might be a priority for BK.

    Maybe we get Quinn later, maybe not. Just some food for thought.

    Next, I eagerly await BK’s decisions on Defense and with regards to recruiting. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s his deal. Telling him he should hire a Head coach from the NFL to be DC seems whacked out to me (Billick). Instead I prefer to watch the man work. And assess his decisions after he makes them. Not tell him how to run his team.

    But make no mistake, it is HIS team now.

  40. Amen, Chris and Palk! Win at all costs isn’t the ND way. Never should be. Having said that, under Holtz ND did gamble on some marginal student athletes (Tony Rice, Jerome Bettis, Chris Zorich, etc.) Bettis never embarrassed ND as pro or in his subsequent career in the media. Zorich later graduated from ND law! I’m sure Tony Rice did OK for himself, too. My point is ND doesn’t have to sell its soul by giving a few talented athletes a second chance in life.

    1. wow, we agree on something steel! just kidding. i was saying the same thing to a buddy the other week. kids with high character, work ethic, and great athletic ability don’t always come from great schools due to our flawed educational system. if they have demonstrated that they are trying to better themselves, i say why not? considering everything that nd does to support the STUDENT-athlete with study groups, tutors, etc. why not offer that chance? nd should never lower their standards just to appease the rest of the football factories and the ever disturbed media that promotes those schools while bashing nd for trying to accomplish what myles brand wanted and believd in, who was also a close friend to jack swarbrick. the media ought…nevermind. end of rant. “ps”, there are plenty of other schools out there that win at all costs. see fit to join them at all costs if “we” and “that” are the problems.

      1. nepachris,

        I don’t even recall what it was we disagreed about. You hang out here long enough, you’re bound to have agreements and disagreements with just about all the other regulars and semi-regulars. I just don’t see why it has to get so personal and nasty at times (mea culpa). After all, we’re all pulling in the same direction and want the same thing, that is, to see ND at the top again. Which is why I thank you for the points above and the support of ND football, whether or not we see eye to eye on this or that.

  41. Don’t worry about Kelly and defense. Think about it, 10 new starters on defense and an offense that scores at will. UC can drive the field in 2 minutes. They lose the time of possesion stat all the time, but win all those games. With an average defense you will still win a lot of games when you put up 40 points!

    1. I agree with that statement completely. And had Charlie Weis had an “average” defense this team would’ve been in the 10/11 win range this year, instead of the 6-6 that we were.

  42. Change the admission standards for the football program. I dont want to see a smart kid I want a tough kid. I dont want a “nice” kid but someone who will punch you in the mouth. I don’t want a kid who is worried about how his dreadlocks look good on tv but a kid who worries if he wins or loses. If I see another kid that helps the opposing player off the ground or cries if they loose a game I will know this program is dead. This smart nice kid program crap is getting old.

      1. Seriously…that’s your defense?? I can play that game too.

        No, you’re part of the problem.

        By the way…it’s YOU’RE as in YOU ARE, not YOUR. And you still question our academic standards. Is that because you don’t have any standards for yourself?

      2. You’re at the wrong site, and routing for ther wrong team. ND is who they are because of their standards. The set the bad higher, as student athletes, and as people of character. You don’t fit that standard. Try USC or one of the other factories.

    1. Are you kidding me? Let’s just throw out everything Notre Dame stands for as a university and allow all the Johnny Moron’s into ND. I really don’t want a player that says “I be good, yo”. I do find it funny that ‘power run the ball’ and ‘PS’ are suggesting that we lower academic standards and both of their posts have misspellings/misuses of words To correct them, it’s “due” instead of “do”; and “lose” instead of “loose”. I did not attend the University of Notre Dame, but I take pride in the fact that I was not accepted because I only had a 1290 on my SAT. While 1290 is decent, it’s not ND material and to me that says something about Notre Dame.

      Our coach was the problem, not the academic standards set forth by the Admissions Office. When Brian Kelly starts winning here like most of us know he will, maybe then you will see that Notre Dame is Notre Dame DUE to everything that you 2 knuckleheads want to throw away. I don’t buy, and never will buy, that ND should adjust their admissions requirements and neither should anyone else who understands what Notre Dame is truly about…prestige and dignity.

      1. Does having prestige and dignity translate into three different head coaches in 13 seasons?

        I dont know. I hope its not.

      2. i agree that nds prestige is the admission standards – we are number one in graduation percentage this season – that sells to recruits not just looking to go pro, if i was a recruit and you could basically guarantee that i will leave with a degree from nd that says a lot- even if football doesnt work out you could walk into a job interview and smack the guy in the face with your nd degree and say im taking your job – living in northern california i get all the pac ten games on tv so every week after watching nd struggle i watch usc and pray that a plane lands on their sideline- the taunting and classless play they displayed this season was ridiculous obviously steming from that cry baby carroll, they are the new miami – bunch of thugs high stepping forty yards away from the end zone- i love nd for their tradition to excellence and the belief that it can still be done the right way!!!

      3. Prestige and dignity? Yeah..were is it? The program has not won squat since 1988. You think Jimmy or Tate came here for the “admission standards” The problems at ND go beyond the field. It’s the old folks that tell people in front to sit down. It’s the alumni pompus ass types like Chris who tell you to leave if they don’t like what you say. This is football. Go find a pair and man up.

      4. Maybe Chris should not have told you to leave, but…how about you not disrespect Notre Dame for what it stands for? Just a suggestion. I agree that we haven’t won a National Championship since 1988 and haven’t come close since 1993, but that is no reason to trash the tradition of Notre Dame, which does (sorry to tell you) include our academic standards. Notre Dame football will turn around, you will see. You act like Florida and USC and Texas never went through any rough stretches. Irish football will be back and it starts with keeping up the tradition of the University of Notre Dame.

        By the way…it’s WHERE, not WERE. (I can do this all day Mr. Academics)

      5. I’m really not. I just can’t stand when people, ND fans or not, disrepect everything Notre Dame is respected and known for. Sorry, but you made it too easy for me.

      6. PS

        I agree with you 100% about the “old folks” and the “old” alumni. Seriously, the older alumni need to stop crying and realize no more Glory Days. We can’t just show up and get the W because we have prestige and dignity. We can’t run on the field and say “look we lead the nation in graduation rates so we win”. My generation of amumni gets it. We are a joke when it comes to college football now. No one gives us respect. EVERYONE mocks us.

        I don’t agree that we should have to give up our standards to win. Our prestige and dignity was also built on us winning games with these standards people. I think we forget that. If we are not winning where does that leave us?

    2. Notre Dame is more than just football school, it’s also an Ivy League school. That’s part of what makes Notre Dames football program so incredable. The fact that Notre Dame is able to field a team thats capable of winning 11 titles AND has academic standards as tuff as Harvard and Yale.

      The national “Notre Dame” presense amoung universities is that ND demands excellence…excellence in every aspect of the players lives.

      A student athlete at ND isn’t pursuing a degree in phs. ed, just so he can play football. ND student athletes study politcal science and go on to graduate law from a school that rivals Yale, Harvard and Cornell.

      The University of Notre Dame is larger than Notre Dame Football. We can still win games with high academic standards.

      1. Hey watch the phys. ed. comments lol. Not all phys. ed. programs are patty-cake majors. But I get your point.

  43. to irish thunder,

    we are getting quality players nation wide. ND has to recruit nation wide b/c ND has nation wide appeal and 2) ND is already limited on the players they can recruit do to academics.

    I hope the ND isn’t doing there recruiting purely base on Mel Kipers opinions. IF that is the case then we have big big Huge problems.

    No Nation wide recruiting egual NO

    clausen, tate, gary gray, ian williams, armondo allen, brian smith, crist, FLOYD, ethan johnson, TEO, EVANs

    Billick is an offensive coach/

  44. I wonder if Brian Billick would be interested in the DC spot. That’d definitely be a solid pickup. Whoever it is, I just want to see an Irish player lay a hit on someone. I mean like… a REAL hit; one of those “Is that guy still conscious?” hits. Whenever I’m forced into watching a Penn State game (obviously with the intent to see them lose by 8 touchdowns), I always see one of their linebackers smash someone. Same with SEC games. I think Teo possesses that ability, but otherwise, I flat out haven’t seen it from the rest of the team… Not for years… Call it nastiness, fundamentals, whatever. I’m just ready to see a defense light people up and strike some fear into opponents.

    1. Hey Jake hate to bust you thunder, Bilick was always a offensive minded coach but got lucky with that ravens defense having all those studs. Like Ray Reed and company. He was an offensive coordinator before going to Baltimore.

      1. Yeah, Rex Ryan was the brain child behind the defense that the Ravens are known for. Their defense has not kept the luster since Rex’s departure this spring.

  45. Frank,

    agree with most of what you said. I’m a big believer that chemistry trumps history with regards to coordinators. I’d rather Kelly hire a DC whose coaching style works with his than go hire a mercenary like Tenuta was. Of course, if there’s a big time guy out there who could work well with Kelly, that might be ideal, but it’s a risky proposition.

    To be honest, it wouldn’t kill us to hire a guy like martin, whose defenses I understand to be fundamentally sound, rather than one regarded as a schematic genius. Let’s teach the kids how to tackle.

  46. Growing up in the SF Bay Area, I somehow came to be a fan of UC Davis, then a Div. II school. Still am, only team I root for other than the Irish in college w/ much passion. Anyways, UC Davis had (they’re now FCS) the same kind of successful Div. II tradition that Kelly’s Grand Valley State had/has, and it isn’t only evidenced by wins and losses.

    The biggest proof of their success, imho, is how many coaches went on to success elsewhere, both in college and in the NFL. The system fed success, just like Holtz’s successful system earned Florida so many outstanding former ND coaches (Meyer, Strong and crew).

    All of this is to say that Kelly’s success is deeply ingrained in just such a complete system already. I trust he already knows the coaches he needs. My duckets are on the current GV State head coach Chuck Martin being named DC, and the entire Kelly/Martin system blowing up w/ success at ND.

    My 2c.

  47. Kelly runs a hurry up, no huddle Offense. It is one of the tops in College Football. Why does he need Charlie when he has his own successful guy at Cincy to bring with him??

    Charlie’s ego is not going to permit him to stay on as Offensive Coord. Kelly’s ego will not allow it. He will want to win and turn this around with his people. Three big keys under Kelly:
    1. Defensive Coordinator
    2. Recruiting Coordinator
    3. Stength/Conditioning Coordinator

    Lastly, question for the group. Is ND better off concentrating on 6-8 States (Midwest,Northeast)and getting away from the National Recruiting idea. I wonder if going National means you really are not digging deep and knowing what you are getting. Relying more on the and It seems impossible to recruit effectively in all 50 States. To me dominate in the states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Mass., Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan. This way you really know all the HS coaches and all the players. My fear is we are relying on the Mel Kiper types.

    1. I see your point about narrowing the recruiting search, but if you’re going to do that you HAVE to include California, Texas and Florida. I live in Texas and it’s not by accident that some of the best college players come out of these 3 states. While I agree that you want a better knowledge of who you’re getting and staying local allows for that, you can’t neglect supreme talents in the BIG 3.

      I agree that you can’t effectively recruit in all 50 states, but Notre Dame has a national following and we still need to have a national presence in recruiting. I’m not saying to start tackling Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming with everything you got, but be smart about it and recruit in the areas that have traditionally produced talented college football players. If Notre Dame is smart about (as Charlie and his staff clearly were) Notre Dame can effectively recruit nationally and get the talent. The trick is to make the most out of the talent that you have and I think Brian Kelly gets this big time…far more than CW ever did.

    2. Even if it was possible I wouldn’t want CW as offensive coordinator. Quite frankly, Mr. Schematic Advantage wasn’t great in that area either. Just a horrible head coach. We’ll see the difference when a coach who actually knows what he’s doing takes over. Get back to the NFL where you belong, CW, nice knowing you.

      1. i agree if you are going to concentrate the recruiting focus it should include these four states – ca, fl, tx, oh – i live in sacramento ca, and believe me notre dame is a national team, there are a lot of great players in northern california that hate usc and go elsewhere – i have friends now playing professionally that went to schools like utah state, boise state (before they were good) and fresno state – there are a lot of recruits out here that get overlooked and the whole five star four star thing is bs – they may be a five star coming into college, but where are they when they leave? this requires coaching and from kellys resume im excited to see him “coach em up”

  48. I am super stoked about Brian Kelly coming to Notre Dame. He’s a college coach and he knows what’s up. The one concern several people have brought up is lack of defense at Cincinnati with Kelly, but you have to keep in mind that Kelly lost 10 starters on defense that he needed to replace this year. I know we have had plenty of numbers supporting Kelly, but…

    Here some more stats for everyone…

    Number of games allowing 20 pts or less in last 2 seasons (’08 & ‘09):
    Cincinnati= 16
    Notre Dame= 6

    Number of games scoring 28 pts or more in last 2 seasons (’08 & ‘09)
    Cincinnati= 18
    Notre Dame= 13

    So..YEAH, while Brian Kelly’s Offense puts up points (more than Notre Dame in the past 2 years), Brian Kelly also understands Defense and it WILL NOT be another Charlie Weis leading the Fighting Irish.

    I’m all about Kelly. THE GUY IS A WINNER!! I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face…171-52-2 doesn’t happen by accident.

  49. If, the man down under, (Meyer) does get Alford away from us, that will mean he has 5 ex ND saff members on his saff, including himself. This seems very strange to me.

  50. bud,
    I like your thinking b/c u are willing to think about what is best for the program and to think outside the box a bit. Kelly was DC at his first program prior to being a head coach..I have no confidence in romeo and kelly would be the odd man out.

    I think CW does have value as a OFfensive coord. but he needs some guidance with creativity and personnel usage. EG: Jonas Gray is the most explosive all purpose back on the team. He just needed a little confidence and more reps. Shaq evans is another stud who wasn’t used.

    I love the pro style offense but Charlie never ran the ball. he believed that a swing/hitch pass to floyd or rudolph was a run play.. I love the play but it is not a run..

    I only saw one game that kelly coach and I know i am not a fan of the 4 wide offense as your bread and butter O. 1st and goal on the 2 yrd line and 3 consecutive passes out of shotgun will haunt me until i see different next yr.

    but i am hopefull for a better future.

  51. I think the two important recruits is getting Chris Martin back and Anthony Barr. I’m not sure about Te’o playing the next two season, so ND needs these two possible great playmakers on the defensive side.

  52. Brian Kelly CEO, HC
    Charlie Weis, OC Romeo Crennel, DC
    Tony Alford, RB, ORC Corwin Brown, ADC, RCD
    Frank Verducci, OLC Bryant Young, DLC

    1. It’s like telling Barack Obama to keep Dick Cheney.

      Please. Why? Why would we want that? Charlie had a different philosophy than Kelly. It didn’t lead to enough consistency. Let’s find someone that can get it done. Kelly is a bright guy. He will find a coordinator that will work with him.

  53. We are going to love Brian Kelly. I live in Cincinnati and he made that university a winner. UC has a 34,000 seat stadium. To get people to come to games they used to give away basketball tickets (a hard ticket to come by) just to fill the stadium!

    Look at what he did. He took MAC level recruits and won the Big East two years in a row. So he’s taking 2 and 3 star players and making them 3’s and 4’s or 5’s. Just think what he will do with the talent ND already has.

    ND will be top 25 next year
    ND will be top 10 in 2011
    ND will play in a BCS bowl game in 2012 or win the national title.

    1. I like the prediction, Jack, and I would agree with it. Ara, Devine and Lou all won the NC in year three.

      As always, another “right on the money” analysis by Frank.

  54. OK, I will readily admit that this will NOT happen because of ego on many fronts but this is what I would do immediately if I am Brian Kelly.
    The premise of all of this has to be that Kelly wants to be the next Holtz, Rockne, Devine etc. You know the bronze statues, so does Kelly.
    If he looks down from 60,000 feet above the dome today he will do the following.
    On Offense
    1. Call Charlie Weis TODAY. Tell Charlie what admiration Brian has for what Charlie accomplished at ND. Grad rates, offensive production, sound recruiting and so on. Ask that Charlie commit today to staying on as the Offensive Coordinator.
    a) this will help solidify the current roster
    b) this will help solidify the incoming recruits
    c) Charlie Jr can stay in high school in SB and then move on to ND
    d) Charlie and Mara can continue with Hanna House
    e) ND continues with a strong pro style Offense
    f) Charlie can focus on what he does best, ie O!
    2. Work with Charlie to secure Tony Alford as RB coach and make him the Offensive Recruiting Coordinator. This will help Charlie keep his recruiting processes in place and be a perfect training ground for Tony to learn from the best OC out there.
    1) Have Charlie arrange a meeting with Romeo Crennel today. Convince Romeo that he can help bring a National Champion to ND. Romeo, like Charlie was not as successful as he would have liked as a Head Coach but he is brilliant as a DC.
    a) Recruits will love Romeo. Proven Super Bowl winning Defensive Coordinator. Lovable guy like Charlie. Kids will admire him and will see Romeo as a way to get to the next level with an ND degree in hand.
    b) Brings immediate credibility to the D
    c) Have Charlie and Romeo convince Corwin Brown to stay on as Assistant Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Recruiting Coordinator.

    Again, not going to happen! But, if I am Brian Kelly, I want to succeed and to do so, I want to approach this as a CEO. I want to surround myself with the best of the best. I want the odds in my favor. I want results quickly and start to build for the future at the same time.

    With the ND schedule next year and Brian’s winning attitude and leadership skills ND can run the table as soon as next year and get to a BCS game.

    Park the egos and build the best staff you can.

    Go ND.

    1. Bud,

      While I somewhat see your line of thinking, I have to agree that this won’t happen, and I wouldn’t want it to. Personally…distancing ourselves (by “ourselves” I mean Brian Kelly) from Charlie Weis is something we need to do. I understand why you are recommending this move, but we need a COLLEGIATE coach, not an NFL coach. If we learned anything over the past 5 years, it’s that the NFL doesn’t work in College. This is also why we should be keeping Romeo Crennel away from us. The NFL thing just doesn’t translate. I do see how this might work and it looks great but the fact of the matter is Brian Kelly can coach at the college level and I say we give him his opportunity to do it his way…it works. He’s not 171-52-2 by accident.

      1. Hold on to your socks boys, Nana is dropping her knickers. Hire the great Don Shula as the D-Coord. He can bring his No-name Defense from the 70s. As O-Coord., hold on lads this one is going to floor you…the name is Don. As in Don Coryall. That’s right fellas, Air Coryall right here in South Bend. It will bring a tear to the eye of Dan Fouts. If this happens I go bra-less the first game!!

      2. The one thing I looked at when I built my company was to secure someone who could make changes in direction and be successful in doing so. I watched the UC vs Pitt game 11 times yes 11 times. While I wanted Petersen, Harbaugh, or Edsell I don’t think this is a bad hire. Everything went Pitt’s way in that game; yet, with nasty weather (should have benefited Pitt and their running game with a lead) Kelly looked at his QB right in the eyes and said “you are playing like you want to forget” “it is time to play like you want to be remembered. All Pike did is complete his last 12 attempts and cap of a winning drive. I am a believer that you can win anywhere, doing anything, by making people believe in making their dreams come true. Remember great leaders lead people to their dreams that is why Weis failed I hate to go Star Wars but “I don’t believe it” Yoda responded “that is why you fail” Kelly will do well; although, a run oriented coach would have been more desirable lets embrace him give him the $$$$ he needs and start believing in ND again.



    2. Bring Charlie and Romeo to ND with Brian?

      Don’t hold your breath Bud. Romeo couldn’t even work with Brady Quinn.

      Terrible idea!!

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