Brian Kelly said his goodbyes to Notre Dame football.
A video leaked on Wednesday — which was published by Barstool Sports — of Kelly addressing the school’s football team and letting them know that he took the head coaching position at LSU. Kelly gave a four-minute speech at 7 a.m., and all of the players who attended sat in silence.
Nov 27, 2021; Stanford, California, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly receives congratulations after the game against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium. (Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports)
“As you know I sent out the text [Monday] night trying to give you as much notice as possible given the circumstances we all know that happened on social media and information getting out,” Kelly said in the video.
“We’ve been through this together, everybody in this room. I wanted to tell you face-to-face why we’re at where we’re at. And that is very simply that the past 12 years have been the most incredible 12 years of my life for me and my family. It’s magical what we’ve been able to build with the most incredible student-athletes I am looking at right now.”
Kelly, 60, coached at Central Michigan and Cincinnati before he left the Bearcats for the Notre Dame opening. Kelly replaced Charlie Weis before the start of the 2010 season and helped get Notre Dame back to prominence.
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly walks to a huddle as his team plays Toledo in the second half of an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. Notre Dame won 32-29. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
In 2012, Notre Dame got to the BCS Championship only to lose to Alabama 42-14. Kelly and Notre Dame would reach the College Football Playoff twice but fail to win in either appearance.
“So many times, people are looking for a reason to blame, or there was a reason for something,” Kelly continued. “There was nothing here but first-class in everything Notre Dame has done for me and my family. I saw my time here as a blessing working with incredible men on a day-to-day basis.
Sep 5, 2021; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly during the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak S. Campbell Stadium. (Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports)
Kelly added: “There comes a time when you look in your life for another opportunity, and I felt like it was time in my life for another challenge. And I saw that opportunity in a very short window and felt that it was best for me and my family to pursue a new challenge. … You guys have been the backbone of the program and what you’ve accomplished and will continue to do that.”
Kelly led the school to nine bowl games during his tenure, only missing out during the 2016 season after a 4-8 record. The team is 11-1 in 2021 with a major bowl game waiting.
He is 113-40 all-time at Notre Dame and has the most wins for a coach in school history.