SOUTH BEND, Ind. — After 11 seasons, Brian Kelly has resigned as the head coach of the University of Notre Dame football team.
Kelly has signed a 10-year, $95 million contract to take over as the head coach at Louisiana State University. The news broke from Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports came as a shock to many on social media. Kelly sent a text message to his players overnight about the news.
“Let me apologize for the late night text and, more importantly, for not being able to share the news with you in person that I will be leaving Notre Dame,” Kelly said in the text. “I am sorry you found out through social media or news reports. I will have more to share when we meet tomorrow … but for now, just know that my love for you is limitless and I am so proud of all that you have accomplished.”
Kelly met with players for about ten minutes this morning before saying goodbye and heading to Baton Rouge. Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick says Kelly will not be coaching the Irish in their upcoming bowl game, whether it be in the College Football Playoff or otherwise.
Swarbrick said he was just as surprised as everyone else when it was discovered he took the LSU job.
“He did not discuss with me the conversations he had with other universities,” Swarbrick said. “We always are talking about the program’s needs and there was not anything identified at any time.”
Swarbrick recognized that after 11 seasons “there had to be an endpoint” under Kelly. He credited Kelly for rebuilding the Notre Dame football program back into the best position it’s been in decades. As for who will continue to build off of Kelly’s foundation, Swarbrick said there is no timetable yet on who will be the next head coach.
“When we find the right person who we think can lead this program and have the right conversations with him, that’s all that matters,” said Swarbrick. “I will lead that search (not a search committee). We will take the lead.”
Swarbrick clarified that whoever is appointed interim head coach if they appoint an interim head coach, that person will likely not be a candidate for the permanent job.