Brian Kelly’s departure from Notre Dame to become an LSU coach may come as a surprise to many, but Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick is not one of them.
Swarbrick addresses Kelly’s decision to leave the Fighting Irish and got a 10 year, $95 million contract with the Tigers in the SEC. He admitted that he could see Kelly’s departure coming.
“I’m not surprised,” Swarbrick said at a news conference Tuesday morning. “There’s been enough weeks before that to give me a pretty strong feeling that there might be other things attracting Brian.”
Swarbrick isn’t really secretive about the other offers Kelly has on the table. Kelly also doesn’t try to leverage them into a larger contract at Notre Dame.
Swarbrick said Kelly informed him that he would accept LSU’s offer. There was no chance for Notre Dame to make the deal, and Swarbrick is grateful for that. Why? Because he can feel a natural end to the relationship between Kelly and the upcoming college.
“Look, 12 years is a really long time at Notre Dame, and we’ve been served very well here by Brian during that time,” Swarbrick said. “But it’s been a long time and I’ve been contemplating for a while that there has to be an end in sight. We haven’t been specific about that time, but also from a long-term perspective in the near term, this is not” unsurprising and I think this place is perfectly prepared to move forward. “
However, replacing a coach like Kelly, who is Notre Dame’s all-time winning coach with 113 wins, will take a lot of work. And Swarbrick was just getting started in his efforts to find a replacement, despite his insistence that Kelly could leave.
“I’ve had a lot of exposure,” Swarbrick joked before admitting he would start looking in the coming days.
Swarbrick did not have an exact candidate in mind. He explains that he doesn’t keep lists of potential coaching candidates like some ADs across the country do. Instead, he’s looking for certain traits to define the Fighting Irish’s next coach. Two stands out above all else.
“Fit at Notre Dame is number one,” says Swarbrick. “This is a unique place. And it’s important that you understand and appreciate the unique.”
“More and more of the college football head coach’s role is that of the chief executive officer,” he continued. “And so it’s important to clearly understand your approach to team building and management.”
Additionally, Swarbrick notes that Notre Dame isn’t as rebuild-oriented as it was when they hired Kelly before the 2010 season. That should make the new player’s job a bit easier, as the coaching staff can focus in recruiting and developing players.
But what about the short term? The Fighting Irish still have an outside chance to make it to the College Rugby Qualifiers, and if they don’t, they’ll likely play in a New Year’s octave. So, what’s the plan?
Well, it doesn’t include Kelly. Swarbrick announced that he will not be coaching Notre Dame in his post-season appearance.
“We’re going to have our current coaching staff, I hope, largely intact, and we’ll be appointing who has to do the jump jump, like how to use timeouts and flips,” Swarbrick said. coin,” said Swarbrick. “But we have a great staff. We have great coordinators, so I’m confident we’ll be fully prepared for what I hope is a CFP game – but otherwise not. , I’m definitely going to be a New Year Six Game – and Brian won’t be in that game for us.”
Swarbrick and the sports department will soon appoint an interim coach. However, he noted that the interim coach would not be a candidate for the position, so it provides an indication that defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman could be promoted to coach. temporary member and eventually became Kelly’s successor.
As such, Freeman’s name will be one of the notable ones. And if he is not awarded the interim title, it could indicate that the team is considering the 35-year-old for his position as coach.