LSU officially hires Brian Kelly as next head football coach
Kelly signed a 10-year contract worth $95 million, according to a press release announcing his hiring. He’ll be formally introduced in a press conference at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
Kelly was the head coach for the Fighting Irish for 12 seasons, amassing a 92-39 record in that span. He turned them into a constant in the College Football Playoff conversation, making two playoff semifinals and appearing in the 2012 national championship. There has been nothing but consistency at Notre Dame with Kelly, winning at least 10 games over the past five years.
The news comes amidst an 11-1 season and with Notre Dame on the brink of a berth in the College Football Playoff. If the Fighting Irish do make the Playoff, Kelly will be the first head coach to be in the Playoff while also taking a new head coaching job.
Notre Dame is currently at No. 6 in the committee’s latest rankings, but should move up following Ohio State’s loss to Michigan. Once that happens, a loss from one of Alabama, Cincinnati or the Wolverines in their respective conference title games could be the impetus for a Playoff appearance for the Irish.
With his arrival in the Bayou, Kelly takes over for a program that fired head coach Ed Orgeron less than two seasons after winning a national championship. Oregon was 51-20 overall with the Tigers, but just an even 11-11 over the past two seasons.
LSU finished the regular season 6-6 with a 3-5 record in the SEC. Orgeron announced after his final game with the Tigers this past weekend he will not be coaching in the bowl game.
Before Notre Dame, Kelly was at Cincinnati, where he went 34-6 overall. He has never coached south of the Mason-Dixon line. Facilities and the inability to truly compete for national championships are two factors to consider in why he is making the move.
A handful of LSU players have entered the transfer portal in recent weeks, including cornerback Eli Ricks. The former five-star recruit missed the season-opener, then played in the next five games until he was ruled out for the season with an injury.
On3’s Pete Nakos contributed to this report.