Brian Kelly on the rumors of him possibly leaving Cincinnati right now: “I’m not interested in anything that doesn’t have a Bearcat on it”November 30, 2009 – 9:04 am by Chris Fedor
With the rumors circulating about Charlie Weis potentially being ousted as Head Coach at Notre Dame, one of the names that will continue to be brought up is Cincinnati Head Coach Brian Kelly. And it should be. What can you say about the job that he has done at Cincinnati? This was a University that was previously known more for their success on the hardwood as opposed to on the football field. As a football program, they were barely even on the map. Mark Dantonio, now the head coach at Michigan State, help put the program back on the map and directed the team’s transition into the Big East. Since that time, Kelly has taken over the reigns, continued that success and brought back a ton of attention to the Bearcat football program. Since Brian Kelly became the head coach at Cincinnati, he has earned Big East Coach of the Year Honors, has captured the Big East Title outright, has led his team to a BCS Bowl and has compiled a record of 33-6. On top of that, his team is currently one of the most prolific offenses in College Football, the Bearcats remain undefeated and are very much in the conversation for a National Title shot.
They have just one more hurdle to clear en route to a perfect regular season and that is this Saturday afternoon at Pittsburgh.
Brian Kelly joined ESPN 850 WKNR in Cleveland with Michael Reghi to talk about the season the Bearcats have had, playing for the Big East Title this weekend, how he keeps his team focused with all the media attention and clears up the Notre Dame rumors.
On keeping his eye on the National Championship picture:
“We know what to expect in the Pitt game. The Pitt-Cincinnati game is for the Big East Championship. We know what to expect, but it’d be nice to know that there is something even greater out there for us and that’s a National Championship chance.”
On how difficult it is for him and the staff to keep the team focused on the next opponent as opposed to the National Championship picture:
“Well I think we don’t talk about it much other than the times that I’m on the media circuit. Everyday the message is the same, the routine is the same, the preparation is the same, so they don’t know any other way in terms of how to prepare and play the game. They also see the internet, they watch ESPN Sportscenter, and they certainly listen to this show. They know what’s at stake, but I think we keep it in a pretty good balance. That is they just go out and play the game and let the other things take care of themselves.”
On his name being brought up to replace Charlie Weis if he is fired at Notre Dame:
“Obviously you can’t control a lot of that stuff and obviously they’ve got a football coach. I try to just again, from my end, focus on the job because what do you say? You can flat out lie if you want. That’s one way to do it. Or just be honest and say listen, that stuff can’t be a factor; it can’t be involved because we’ve got too much riding on it. I just try to stay focused and keep the staff focused on the day to day and what happens, happens. We deal with it. Other than that, our kids know that if I have something to tell them, I’m going to tell them. I’ve got nothing to talk about when it relates to jobs that our out there until we finish our schedule.”
On whether the inquiries have come his way:
“Oh yeah (laughing). Everyday it’s a flood. I get real estate cards and it’s crazy. (Things like) I want to be your new real estate agent in South Bend. I just laugh and my administrative assistant, she kinda just throws most of that stuff away because she knows I’m not interested in anything that doesn’t have a Bearcat on it.”
On whether or not he is flattered by his name circulating:
“Absolutely, and they know at the end of the day, I’m going to work my butt off. We’re here eighty hours a week and we’re going to be prepared and focused on the job at hand. Keep doing what we’re doing. We’re not going to let them down; we’re going to be here for them.”
On his long-term plan being with Cincinnati as of now:
“They are. I have no intentions. Again, I think anytime you look at this situation all you can do is do as well as you can at the job you have and when the season’s over, you take a step back and go from there.”