Submitted by HAIL 2 VICTORS on October 24th, 2011 at 11:49 AM

I found MSC comments interesting in John Bacon's "Three and Out" regarding Brian Kelly and having observed him now for a season and a half in post game comments and sideline antics I think we dodged a bullet with this guy and ND has found themselves another Head case in Head coaching. 


Besides The Color Purple

and his role in the Death of Decland Sullivan...where he did indeed play a role Kelly has no problem throwing his players under the bus publicly and does a very poor job IMO of taking personal responsibility.

You can get away with these kinds of things at Grand Valley State and Central Michigan.  Even the press corps at Cincinatti will not take notice but when you coach at ND your true purple colors will be exposed.

The most recent USC post game presser has some final coffins in the nail as i read them and if I were an ND fan I would want him gone.

"I’m supposed to say, "everything’s our fault?"There  are things players gotta handle too.It’s always going to be both of  us.Don’t go criticizing if we give you the right answer and it is on  them. Certain parts of the year, they’ve managed it well.Other times we  haven’t.Ultimately,we gotta get them to do it right. In the end, it’s  always the two of you.End of story. It’ll be that way till they quit  playing football.”

"Generally, I'm going to fall on the sword nine out of 10 times," he said about his team’s lethargic start. "I know what I'm doing on a bye week. I've had great success. I know what it looks like. And for us to come out and be less than what we should be, I'm not happy about it.  But I'm certainly not going to go back and second guess the way I've prepared over 21 years in a bye week.”

"Cierre wood didn't live up the our expectations that have here for Notre Dame Players"

After giving him received 6 carries!!!


"We had some guys that didn't play with poise that need to play with poise," Kelly said. "Championship football teams play with competitive grace, which means that when the stakes are high and the stage is great, they raise their game. Today, in that same situation, some of our players didn't raise their level of play.”



October 24th, 2011 at 11:53 AM ^

It will be far worse than Charile Weiss's failure.  That team is going to be absolutely stacked with talent - on both offense and defense -  in the next couple of years...If I had to bet fifty cents, though, it would be that ND is a national title contender in the near future. 


October 24th, 2011 at 12:50 PM ^

we can say its going to be worse than Weis.. look at the 2007 starters currently in the NFL fro ND..

C - John Sullivan (Vikings)

G - Erik Olsen (broncos)

T - Ryan harris (Broncos)

RB - Darius Walker (Texans)

QB - Brady Quinn

WR- Samardzia - MLB

TE - Carlson - Seahawks

S - Ndukwe - Raiders

S - Zibokowski - Ravens

CB - Mike Richardson  - pats

CB - Darrin Walls  - Falcons

LB - Travis Thomas - Browns

DE - Ronald Talley - Packers

DT  - Landri - Jaguars

DT - Trevor Laws -  Eagles

DE  -  Abiamiri - Eagles



October 24th, 2011 at 1:11 PM ^

When he had those players, he went to back to back BCS bowl games.  His problem was never really on field coaching (especially on the offensive side of the ball), it was a failure to recruit and rebuild the team after the crater that resulted from the awful recruiting at the end of Ty's tenure and the highly rated but totally unproductive class Charlie recruited in his first full year on the job.


October 24th, 2011 at 5:31 PM ^

Seriously?  They're not all world beaters, but if you have a team with an NFL caliber QB and 2/3 (or more?) or the rest of your squad is NFL-caliber in any respect, you've got more talent than almost anybody you could play. 

It takes a very good player just to be a borderline NFL player.  Brandon Minor, Steve Schilling and Donovan Warren aren't even borderline NFL players, and I'd take a few more of those types anytime. 


October 24th, 2011 at 7:31 PM ^

For the two years he had those players (2005 and 2006), Weis only lost twice to USC, once to the 2006 Michigan team, and lost BCS bowl games to LSU and Ohio State.  Those teams all had way more legit, contributing NFL talent than the Irish.

The only bad loss was to MSU in 2005.  When Weis had good players, his teams did about as well as anybody could have expected them to do.  His problem was an inability to build a quality team of his own, in addition to taking the big PR hit when the ticking timebomb of Willingham's last two recruiting classes went off in 2007.

Waters Demos

October 24th, 2011 at 12:03 PM ^

They're 18-22 year old kids playing for high stakes on a very large stage.  Also, good management always involves acceptance of blame and protection of your people in public, and more honest discussion in private. 

Your Coach Hoke is a great example of management ability BTW (as one thread a few weeks ago pointed out). 

Waters Demos

October 24th, 2011 at 12:18 PM ^

The better alternative (IMHE) is to say something like, "we as coaches need to teach our kids to take care of the ball better."  I just wouldn't want a coach to hammer the kids in public.   And if it's a recurring issue, then the coaches should deal with it, not blame the kids. 

FWIW I haven't downvoted you at all.


October 24th, 2011 at 12:24 PM ^

it really is the players' fault.  I mean, when TJ Jones doesn't even bother to look for the ball in the red zone against South Florida and the ball bounces off his helmet and gets picked off, that's on the player (I doubt ND's coaches forgot to say "look for the ball when you're running a route").  I get that they're 18-22 year old kids, and I think explicitly mentioning Cierre Wood was totally uncalled for, but sometimes it's really not on the coaches, and that probably covers a decent number of ND's turnovers this year.  

Mostly, I get annoyed when people treat press conference statements and the ability to regurgitate coachspeak as a meaningful insight into whether or not someone is a good coach, etc.  Being mad at Kelly for not running the ball more against USC: totally valid.  Treating his press conferences as a meaningful insight into anything: elevating image to a level it doesn't deserve.  


October 24th, 2011 at 1:13 PM ^

I'm not sure I totally agree with your TJ Jones example. Is that on him? Or is it on the coaches to run plays that the players know so well they don't screw up? Sometimes players just make mistakes, but it is the job of the coaches to work on ball security, route timing, or simply benching players who aren't getting the job done. Some things are freak occurrences, but others can be corrected through coaching.

When we fumbled a few times at the beginning of the RR era, we chalked it up to bad luck or certain players who had bad hands. Then it happened to everyone for three years and we changed our tune. ND has been a very unsound team all season - I think that's on the coaches.


October 24th, 2011 at 12:34 PM ^

If it was me, I would respond much, much better to a private lambasting than to some passive aggressive remarks in public. I don't think I would commit to a school where honest mistakes of mine became headlines with quotes from my coach, especially one who apparently got outcoached by Lane Kiffen. That's not a great way to get respect from your players, IMO.


October 24th, 2011 at 12:46 PM ^

of whether the kid screwed up, but a matter of protecting your kids, whatever ridiculous expectations bettors and other insane fans have for what remains an amateur sport played by students.

Kelly is dangerously close to becoming a caricature of the insane coach, and really a bush league intellect. My sense is he doesn't last. 

Buzz Your Girlfriend

October 24th, 2011 at 11:56 AM ^

I don't have a problem with any of that except specifically calling out Cierre Wood. He is an asshat but sometimes players really do need to be kicked in the ass. I believe most of us would characterized their underachieving season on the players' lack of execution, not the coaches. We indeed dodged a bullet, not because of Kelly not coming here, but because he hit some bad luck at Notre Dame and most likely won't awake that sleeping giant.

El Demonio

October 24th, 2011 at 11:59 AM ^

I continue to be amazed at how ND is still able to recruit with this clown at the helm.  Not only that, how they have managed to do it for years now, with that cavalcade of losers they've had coaching there in the past 10-15 years.

Happy Gilmore

October 24th, 2011 at 12:01 PM ^

Every coach coaches differently. As he has made very clear through his actions this year (and in the past but not covered in the media), he is a very in-your-face coach. Yes, he screams and yells at players. And yes, in these comments he is clearly calling out his players in the national media. And yes, I don't agree with this practice and greatly prefer the way our coaching staff handled a loss (taking the blame and not putting it on the players).

However, with all that being said, I don't think you can exactly say that his coaching style isn't effective. Sure he has lost some games this year and majority of ND fans are not happy with him. But maybe, just maybe, calling out his players like this will actually motivate them to work even harder.

Most people would agree that this is not what a 'good' coach should do, but I think that if ND was winning games and he was acting in the same way (yelling at players, getting pissed, etc) and the team was winning, this would be a non-issue. And also, it seems to me like what he is saying is fairly true - bad mistakes by key players in leadership roles have cost them the games that they have lost; the school does have high expectations for its players; championship football is not played by making mistakes like they play.


October 24th, 2011 at 12:12 PM ^

I also think it is too early to write-off Brian Kelly at ND.  But the trend is pretty amazing:

  • Bob Davie was a highly-respected defensive coach who built the fearsome "Wrecking Crew" at Texas A&M, before failing spectacularly at ND;
  • Ty Willingham built Stanford into a Rose Bowl team in a reasonably competitive Pac-10, then went to ND and became a shell of his former self;
  • Charlie Weis was the celebrated OC of the New England Patriots and entered South Bend with multiple Super Bowl rings, but was promplty shoved out of town like Willie Lump Lump;
  • Brian Kelly won national championships with GVSU and turned Cincinnati into a top-5 program, but already at ND he is better known for his sideline tantrums and media gaffes than gridiron wins.

You have to think that, sooner or later, ND is going to hire a coach who will be able to replicate his prior success once he gets to South Bend.  Or is there something about the institutional culture or other factor unique to ND that causes these coaches to fail?

Mr Mxyzptlk

October 24th, 2011 at 1:11 PM ^

I was thinking the same thing.  ND needs their own version of John U. Bacon.  After 3-4 straight well regarded coaches fail at the same task, ND fans should start asking if the problem is institutional rather than coincidental.


October 24th, 2011 at 3:21 PM ^

Over the past several years I've started to subscribe to the theory that Notre Dame will never be able to reclaim itsfull  former football greatness because of the very nature of the university and the current state (and probable future) of college football in general.

ND has some significant issues working against it: (1) very high admission standards and a clear expectation for very high graduation rates; (2) Midwestern, somewhat crappy small-town location (+crappy weather, etc.); (3) restrictive on-campus rules (single-sex housing, etc.) & all the other conservative religious-based rules, yada, yada; (4) somewhat decreased national relevance lately; (5) no conference affiliation (it's national championship or bust every year), (6) very difficult schedule every year (Michigan, MSU, USC), (7) Unyielding, unreasonable alumni/fanbase that will not accept anything short of national championships or repeated BCS appearances. That all being said, there are other programs that share one or two of these problems, but not many that have all of them combined.

Add this to the fact that having your own network deal with NBC is not that huge a deal anymore (almost every game is televised now, esp with the BTN, ACC network, SEC network, Longhorn network, etc.). And the best football players aren't produced in sleepy midwestern coal-mining towns anymore dreaming of going to ND, but rather in the Southeast, West Coast, Texas, and, I suppose, Ohio. In addition, the scholarship limits and increased national visibility of recruits along with the rise of mid-major programs have created much more parity among D1-A schools. All of these items combined, in my opinion, make it very difficult for ANY coach, no matter how talented, to win consistently at ND. Oh, and you only have 3-4 years to produce once you take the head coaching job or you're canned.

They do still manage to recruit reasonably well & there's still prestige there, but IMO, there's just too much working against them to consistently compete with the SEC powers, who have no such geographical & academic burdens.


October 24th, 2011 at 12:16 PM ^

In addition to complaining about Kelly, ND Nation is also complaining about the piped in music (wait: if ND Nation is complaining about this, I might have to rethink my dislike of Special K)

Some tidbits...



Does anybody doubt that Kelly was the main proponent...
by KevinG

...of jock rock for ND Stadium? While I understand it is not his final decicion, I have do doubt he was pushing for it, hoping it would cover for his defense's ability to get the crowd fired up.

He is white trash, and sees Outback Steakhouse as fine dining for him and his wife (at least he did when he was a glorified gym teacher in Allendale)

Can we confirm whether he drives an IROC-Z or TransAm?

Here's the particular delusion we all know and love...

Does anyone doubt that with Nick Saban we'd be 7-0?
by baydog

And not only in the hunt for a NC but the odds on favorite to make it to the NC BCS game? All things being equal I believe that to be the case. We now have enough of a track record on Kelly to pass judgment and I have come to the conclusion that he cannot and will not evolve into the position. Swarbrick should make the early call and get rid of him and most of his staff. Of course that raises the question who would want the job, yet alone take it and be given the reigns to be successful. I say Urban----offer him the keys to the kingdom.Unlike Kelly he has a real track record of winning at every level and nothing he did at UF rises to the level of public embarrassment Kelly has prodyuced on the field and on national TV. We don't like Meyer because he had the sense to say "no" to the IRISH and then took it to us in recruiting---too bad for ND. Thats why he is a winner. There's a reason people are calling Kelly "Faustian" this morning. It's time to end this chapter. Jumbotrons, shiny new helmets, Ozzy and rally flags are not the answer yet alone the problem---WINNING is the only issue---WIN and everything else no longer matters. WINNING at ND takes care of all recruiting issues. Giving Jonas Gray 3 touches, abandoning the running game, yanking Crist at the goal line and then throwing the team under the bus after a public beatdown and humiliation by USC tells any recruit all he needs to know about this coach. Swarbrick has his work cut out for him.

Yes, with this fan base, he does.

Hates the music, hates the Big House, hates the helmets, loves the Big Montana...

Anyone have an address to send a letter re: music?
by NDGrover

The only complaint letter I ever wrote came after Arby's dropped the Big Montana. This is even more egregious. I thought @Mich had the worst stadium production I had ever witnessed. Then we copied them, and poorly.

And the helmets looked like Christmas ornaments.

Why is ND schadenfreude so irresistible?


October 24th, 2011 at 12:59 PM ^

I can't believe I am going to defend Brian Kelly, because even as a GVSU alum I think the guy is a dick, but how exactly has he shown himself to be "white trash?"

Plus, there isn't even an Outback in Allendale!*

*but there are several in Grand Rapids


October 24th, 2011 at 12:25 PM ^

I'm not sure if this is worthy of a new thread, but I was browsing nd nation for some schadenfreude, and so far My favorite bit has been that Brian Kelly couldn't beat slippery rock while he was at Grand Valley State. It's worth a read.




EDIT: Wikipedia link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Valley_State_Lakers_football#1990s


October 24th, 2011 at 12:25 PM ^

Urban Meyer???  I doubt they would get rid of Kelly that fast, but I seem to recall ND was a dream job for Meyer at one point, even though he turned them down in the past for Florida...but who wouldn't.




October 24th, 2011 at 12:29 PM ^

It gives me so many ways to make fun of ND and piss off my ND friends. It's funny watching them say things to defend Kelly that they obviously know aren't true.

Wolverine 73

October 24th, 2011 at 12:30 PM ^

I don't understand why any college coach would ever do what he did, fingering guys to the national media. You want to call a guy out in the film room or in practice, fine. But these are 20 year old kids, and they don't need some hot tempered coach going off on them by name in the national media. Kelly is a jackass.