As Justin announced less than an hour ago Brian Kelly will leave the University of Cincinnati for greener, colder pastures in South Bend, IN as the new head coach of the Fighting Irish.
While my colleague holds contempt for the ordeal I am reserving judgement until I see the product on the field. Also, I'm giving Kelly the benefit of the doubt for telling his players he loved Cincinnati and loved his time there.
Why would he tell them any differently? Last Tuesday he was still the head coach at Cincinnati and nothing was finalized. It would have been foolish, irresponsible, and a lie to tell his team at that time that he wasn't happy and that he was leaving for Notre Dame. The fact of the matter is that the Irish were still interviewing other candidates and the deal was far from done.
Can you imagine the backlash the media and Bearcats fans would have had if Kelly told his team he was waiting for the ND job and the Irish hired somebody else? If that were the case he likely would have been out on the streets looking for a new job.
Brian Kelly is the new head coach of the University of Notre Dame and up until today nothing had been finalized.
His players are justifiably upset and both Gilyard and Pike expressed as much after their team banquet earlier this evening.
Making matters worse for the team, Kelly will not coach his now former team in an inevitable blowout loss against Urban Meyer's Florida Gators. This information was confirmed in an email to Notre Dame Alumni just minutes ago while I was writing this post.
I am happy to see the coaching search put to rest and am delighted with the end result. Though he probably was not the first choice for the job the Irish did not 'settle' on him. Kelly is a fine coach with a strong pedigree.
Now let's see what he can do. Welcome to the Notre Dame family, Brian.