LSU hires Kelly away from Notre Dame to be Tigers’ next coach | Sports News


By RALPH D. RUSSO, AP College Football Writer

LSU is hiring Brian Kelly away from Notre Dame, an astonishing decision by one of college football’s most accomplished coaches, moving from the sport’s most famous program to a Southeastern Conference powerhouse.

The move was confirmed Monday evening by a person familiar with the ruling who spoke to The Associated Press only on condition of anonymity as neither school was ready to make an official announcement. Yahoo! Sports first reported the rental.

It was the second college football bombshell in as many days, coming just over 24 hours after Southern California pulled Lincoln Riley away from Oklahoma. LSU could have surpassed him by luring Kelly from South Bend to Baton Rouge.

Kelly, 60, became the most successful coach in Notre Dame history earlier this season, overtaking Knute Rockne. In 12 seasons with the Fighting Irish, Kelly is 113-40, including the current five-season winning streak in double digits.

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Notre Dame finished an 11-1 season on Saturday and is still in the running to reach the college football playoffs for the third time in the past four years.

Kelly, who did not respond to a text message sent by AP, was recruiting for Notre Dame when the news broke.

No former Notre Dame coach has left the Irish, winners of eight AP national championships, to work at another school since the AP poll began in 1936. Rockne’s successor, Hunk Anderson, has moved from Notre Dame to ‘State of North Carolina after being 3- 5-1 in 1933.

The search for LSU coaches began in October, when she struck a deal to part ways with coach Ed Orgeron at the end of the season. The change came less than two years after Coach O led the Tigers to a national championship.

LSU finished a 6-6 regular season on Saturday, upsetting Texas A&M at home in Orgeron’s final game.

Kelly agrees to take over the Tigers just weeks after publicly rejecting the idea of ​​moving on when asked if he might be a candidate for USC.

“No. I mean, look, I think Mike Tomlin had the best line, didn’t he?” Kelly told reporters, referring to the Pittsburgh Steelers coach. “Unless that fairy fairy. Godmother didn’t come with that check for $ 250 million, my wife would like to take a look at it first. I should handle it by her. “

LSU has paid Orgeron around $ 9 million this season, among the highest paid coaches in college football along with Nick Saban of Alabama, Dabo Swinney of Clemson and Jimbo Fisher of Texas A&M.

Orgeron was expected to earn an average of $ 7 million over the term of his contract, but agreed to a $ 16.9 million buyout paid until 2025.

Kelly’s full salary at Notre Dame, a private school, is unknown, but it is believed to be north of $ 5 million a year.

In the last month alone, Michigan State awarded Mel Tucker a 10-year, $ 95 million contract and Penn State extended 10-year-old James Franklin’s contact to $ 7.5 million per season. These deals are similar to the 10-year guaranteed contract Fisher received from A&M when he was hired out of the state of Florida at the end of the 2017 season.

Kelly is likely to be next in line for a mega-deal.

The decision of Fisher – a national championship-winning coach leaving for another traditional power – was a rarity in college football.

Now, there have been two similar upheavals in a matter of days. The coaching carousel, sped up by everything from impatient athletic directors looking for a winner, to the early signing period for rookies and the always busy transfer portal, won’t slow down anytime soon. Oklahoma and Notre Dame are still some of the best jobs in college football and filling them could tip more dominoes across the country.

Kelly had brought stability and success to Notre Dame unlike the program for nearly two decades.

He was unable to add a national championship, but the Fighting Irish won a record they haven’t achieved since Lou Holtz led the program in the late 1980s and early 1980s. 1990. The Irish won their last national title in 1988 under Holtz.

Notre Dame has gone through three coaches after Holtz, never approaching sustained success.

Notre Dame hired Kelly away from Cincinnati to replace Charlie Weis after the 2009 season. It took some time for Kelly to find the right combination of coaching and recruiting strategy to make the Irish into lasting contenders. Since moving to 4-8 in 2016, the Irish are 54-9 under Kelly – virtually the same as Riley’s 55-10 record in Oklahoma.

At LSU, Kelly will follow Orgeron, who was a shooting star in Baton Rouge. The Cajun coach who grew up on Bayou Lafourche and considered LSU his dream job won over skeptical fans and led one of the great college football teams in recent memory: the Tigers won the ’19 national title, with a 15-0 record behind Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow.

LSU is not a place where only coaches with Southern roots can thrive. The Miles was a Michigan man who coached at Oklahoma State before leading the Tigers to a national title. Saban, from West Virginia, came from the state of Michigan to win a national championship at LSU.

Kelly, an Irish Catholic Bostonian, also won national titles – in Division II of Grand Valley State. From there, he rose through the ranks to central Michigan and then to Cincinnati, consistently winning more than the coaches who came before him.

He did the same at Notre-Dame, but the national championship eluded him. As good as the Fighting Irish are, they were outscored in two playoff games and one BCS tilte game against Alabama in the 2012 season.

Kelly will now try to fill the last remaining hole on her Hall of Fame resume at LSU, a school that has turned its last three coaches into national champions.

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