Brian Kelly is moving on from Notre Dame. On Tuesday morning, the LSU Tigers announced that they have hired Kelly as their new head coach. According to ESPN, Kelly, who spent the last 12 seasons at Notre Dame, agreed to a 10-year, $95 million contract. Kelly will replace Ed Orgeron who was told earlier in the season he would be let go.
"I could not be more excited to join a program with the commitment to excellence, rich traditions, and unrivaled pride and passion of LSU Football," Kelly said in a statement released by the school. "I am fully committed to recruiting, developing, and graduating elite student-athletes, winning championships, and working together with our administration to make Louisiana proud. Our potential is unlimited, and I cannot wait to call Baton Rouge home."
The news is surprising as Kelly has had a lot of success at Norte Dame. Pete Sampson of The Athletic obtained a message from Kelly that was sent to the Notre Dame players. "I am flying back to South Bend tonight to be able to meet with you in the morning but the news broke late today and I am sorry you found out through social media or news reports," Kelly wrote on the message.
Kelly, 60, was hired by Notre Dame to be the head coach in 2010 after spending four seasons as the head coach of the Cincinnati Bearcats. In his 12 seasons at Notre Dame, Kelly won 113 games, making him the winningest coach in school history. He led the team to the 2012 BCS national title game and College Football Playoff appearances in 2018 and 2020. This year, Kelly has led the Fighting Irish to an 11-1 record with the only loss coming against Cincinnati. The Fighting Irish are currently ranked No. 6 in the AP and Coaches polls.
Kelly is taking over an LSU team that has won national titles with its last three coaches (Orgeron, Les Miles and Nick Saban). "Brian Kelly is the epitome of a winner," LSU Director of Athletics Scott Woodward said. "He has built and sustained success at every program he's led, from multiple undefeated regular seasons and National Coach of the Year honors to national titles and College Football Playoff berths. His credentials and consistency speak for themselves."