The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are 12-0. They are going to their first College Football Playoff. And, have their first undefeated season since 2012.
After this impressive undefeated regular season it was announced on Wednesday they Notre Dames Head Coach… Brian Kelly had won the Home Depot Coach of the Year Award.
His third such honor. (2009, 2012, 2018)
No other coach has won the award multiple times
Brian Kelly has been a college head football coach for 28 years. He has an all time record of 252-91-2… Good enough for the most wins of all active head coaches.
Congrats to Coach Kelly on a tremendous honor! It’s a privilege to be a part of his football family! pic.twitter.com/3f5gIsM5mO
— Brian Polian (@BrianPolian) December 5, 2018
Kelly took over the Notre Dame program on December 10, 2009. He left Cincinnati (where he coached 2007-2009 and won two Big East Championships) for his dream job in South Bend.
The Irish had back to back 8-5 seasons to start Kelly’s career at the school. Until 2012 when they went 12-0 and ranked #1 in the country. Kelly’s Irish would go on to lose the National Championship to Alabama that season.
Kelly and Notre Dame would continue to rack up winning season after winning season. (9-4, 8-5, 10-3) Until 2016… The Irish would go 4-8 and Kelly was on the hot seat.
Fans were calling for his head. The media thought he would be out. But the players rallied around their coach. And he vowed to change. Dedicated himself to the program and to making sure he put his players first.
The Irish followed his lead and went 10-3 last year beating LSU in the Citrus Bowl. All of that lead to this special season…
Heading into the year Kelly had to replace his all star offensive line coach, along with his defense coordinator. Oh yeah and two top ten NFL Draft picks on his O Line.
Brian Kelly replaced an awesome DC, his ace OL coach, and juggled his QB’s all year .. against that schedule
Coach of the year is a landslide pic.twitter.com/WKIkDYqHAC
— Jac Collinsworth (@JacCollinsworth) December 5, 2018
Add in a QB battle between Wimbush and Book and you could of had a recipe for disaster as Michigan was knocking at the door week one.
But Kelly put it all together and does what he does best… Led his team. Without fear, without doubt and without ego. He set goals for the squad, all of which they accomplished.
BEAT MICHIGAN ✅
Protect home field ✅
Win in November ✅
1. Beat Michigan
2. Protect this house
3. Win in November
— Brian Kelly (@CoachBrianKelly) November 29, 2018
He even made the tough but right decision to bench Brandon Wimbush (who was a great player for him) for Ian Book. Great coaches make the right choices at the right time, even if they are the hardest ones to make.
Kelly also priced himself on “Graduating Champions.” He makes sure his players are all Champions not only on the field but in the classroom.
— Brian Kelly (@CoachBrianKelly) December 6, 2018
Now it is time for Kelly to go after something he has yet to win. A National Championship. Do that in South Bend and your name will be forever etched in GOLD.
It won’t be easy though, as his team open as a -11.5 dog to Clemson in the Cotton Bowl.
But I have no doubt he will have his team focused and ready to play their best game of the season on December 29th.
— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) December 5, 2018
Congrats Coach Kelly.
-Kmess “That Guy”