Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

January 13, 2013

Kelly turns down NFL, will return to coach Notre Dame

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly will be trying for his first BCS championship, instead of a Super Bowl title, next season.

The third-year Fighting Irish coach, who interviewed with the Philadelphia Eagles earlier in the week a day after the Irish were beaten 42-14 by Alabama in the BCS title game, says his interest with the NFL is over for now.

"Like every kid who has ever put on a pair of football cleats, I have had thoughts about being a part of the NFL. However, after much reflection and conversation with those closest to me, I have decided to remain at Notre Dame,'' Kelly said in a statement released by the university Saturday evening.

"This decision was motivated purely by my love for Notre Dame and the entire Fighting Irish community, the young men I have the great fortune to coach, and my desire to continue to build the best football program in the country,'' he said.

The remarks were the first comments by Kelly since news broke late Wednesday that he had interviewed with the Eagles.

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in an interview with The Associated Press on Saturday night that he believes Kelly interviewing for an NFL job and deciding to stay in South Bend is a positive.

"I think what you get to say to young men is you're going to be coached by somebody who is recognized by the NFL as a really excellent NFL coach,'' Swarbrick said.

Swarbrick said he was confident all along that Kelly would be back, said he continued to negotiate a contract extension with Kelly's agent during the past week.

Swarbrick said those talks began in early December and were put on hold as the BCS game approached because Kelly wanted to be focused on the game.

Swarbrick said Kelly's talks with the Eagles didn't affect contract negotiations.

"There is nothing about either the dynamic or the substance which was changed by the past week,'' he said. "Somewhere down the road we're both confident it will result in a revised agreement.''

Kelly originally signed a five-year contract three years ago at a reported $2.5 million a year and was given a two-year extension a year ago

Recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS College Sports said it was too early to tell whether Kelly's talk with the Eagles will hurt what was expected to be Kelly's best recruiting class at Notre Dame and possibly the No. 1 recruiting class in the country.

"The key thing now is to call all the top players and assure them he's never going to leave while he's there, even if you lie, you've got to say it, and convince them it was just a thing,'' Lemming said. "If they believe it, they'll stay.''

Lemming said the Irish already lost one recruit, linebacker Alex Anzalone, who is expected to enroll at Florida.

Kelly led the Irish to a 12-1 record this past season and a No. 4 ranking, their best finish since they were No. 2 with an 11-1 record after the 1993 season, which is the last season the Irish won a major bowl game.

The Irish haven't won a national championship since 1988. He failed to join Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian, Dan Devine and Lou Holtz as Irish coaches who won national titles in their third seasons at the school.

"We still have a lot of work to do and my staff and I are excited about the challenges ahead,'' Kelly said.

The Eagles, who also interviewed Oregon coach Chip Kelly and Penn State's Bill O'Brien, said in a statement saying they spent a lot of time and effort looking at coaches they believed were the best collegiate candidates.

"We did so knowing that there was a remote chance that these coaches would leave their current posts. We understood that going into the process, but we wanted to leave no stone unturned while trying to find the best head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles,'' the statement said.

"We have no regrets about the effort we made in that direction and we will continue to proceed as planned in our search.''

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • DSC_0111web.jpg ‘Team behind the Team’

    For the second-straight year, the Claremore Zebra student training staff will be represented in the Oklahoma Coaches All-State games held in Tulsa.
    Meranda Golbek and Sarah Szcinski, a pair of 2014 Claremore High School graduates, earned All-State honors for their athletic training careers and will join two other student trainers from Jenks and Stillwater High School on the East squad.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • FISHFRYweb.jpg Claremore QB Club holds Fish Fry Aug. 2

    The Claremore Zebra Quarterback Club will hold its annual Fish Fry fundraiser on Aug. 2 at the Claremore High School cafeteria.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NAIA WBB: Oklahoma City to face Texas in exhibition

    Defending national champion Oklahoma City University will meet Texas for the first time in women's basketball in an exhibition Nov. 9 at the Erwin Center.

    July 23, 2014

  • OCU softball coaches earn regional honors

    Oklahoma City University softball coach Phil McSpadden and his assistant coaches have garnered NAIA Southwest Region coaching staff of the year for the third consecutive year from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.

    July 23, 2014

  • Coshow earns first pro baseball win for Yankees' Class A team

    Former Oklahoma Christian standout Cale Coshow recorded his first professional baseball win on Sunday during a relief appearance for the Charleston RiverDogs of the South Atlantic League.

    July 23, 2014

  • JUCO pitcher Walker signs to play baseball for Oklahoma Christian

    Brennan Walker, a standout pitcher the past two years at Butler (Kan.) Community College, has signed a letter of intent to play college baseball at Oklahoma Christian, OC coach Lonny Cobble said Monday.

    July 23, 2014

  • FOOTBALL: UCO adds Smelser to coaching staff

    Central Oklahoma football coach Nick Bobeck announced Wednesday that Jason Smelser had joined the staff as special teams coordinator and linebackers coach.

    July 23, 2014

  • Oologah's Cantwell among UCO baseball signees

    Central Oklahoma baseball coach Dax Leone has followed up a highly-successful 2014 campaign with a banner recruiting haul, adding 14 players to the roster.

    July 23, 2014

  • BIG 12 MEDIA DAYS: Wickline making immediate impact on Texas

    It was quite possibly the biggest coaching coup of the offseason and Oklahoma State was at the wrong end of it – former Cowboy offensive line coach Joe Wickline joining the staff for Charlie Strong's Texas Longhorns.

    July 23, 2014

  • MLB: Rays rough up Wainwright, roll past Cardinals, 7-2

    For a brief second, Tampa Bay right-hander Jake Odorizzi could swear he was at Tropicana Field.

    Odorizzi, pitching 33 miles from his hometown of Highland, Illinois, allowed two runs over 5 2-3 innings and Yunel Escobar highlighted a five-run fifth inning with a two-run double to lead the Rays to a 7-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

    July 23, 2014