The terms of the new contract for Brian Kelly were not released, but he is the new Head Coach for Notre Dame. It’s great for Kelly, a big upgrade, and more than likely a nice pay upgrade as well. As far as his old team and players, well they are not the happiest campers nor are very happy for their old coach. Kelly leaves his Cincinnati team at 12-0 and in the Sugar Bowl against the defending national champion Florida Gators. Not such an easy task for a team in any case, but add on the coach leaving situation and it doesn’t make it any easier. The school confirmed that Kelly won’t coach in the Sugar Bowl, Offensive coordinator Jeff Quinn will serve in his place.
The news of Kelly’s departure first broke late Thursday afternoon, before the start of Cincinnati’s team awards banquet, though players said they weren’t informed of the decision until after the event’s conclusion. Players are coming out now and blasting their old coach. Liar was one of the words being used frequently when asked about their old coach and also he left for money. That is not a great goodbye for the three time Big East coach of the year. I am only guessing at this point that he won’t be back anytime soon for any alumni functions. But in all seriousness, Kelly has had a foot out the door there for a while. After his first season in Cincinnati, he tried for the Michigan job. Last year, he interviewed with both Tennessee and Washington before the Orange Bowl. As happy as he was there, he was waiting for something big to open up for him and South Bend came a callin! He might be happy but his players think he lied to him, something he will never ever be able to make better and something he will always have to live with.
Mardy Gilyard joined Into the Night with Tony Bruno talking about the situation at Cincinnati and the entire situation with Brian Kelly.
Asked how he felt when he heard from Coach Kelly about taking the job at Notre Dame:
“I wasn’t happy about what happened, I was unhappy for our younger players because they bought into the system, and they bought into the whole BK deal. He just kind of left those young guys out to starve, left them out there naked. Those guys are trying to figure out who is going to coach our game. Me as a senior, I need to figure out a way to get our troops back together because we got to play Florida. They are the defending national champs and we got to be on our P’s and Q’s. We can’t let what happened with BK mess up what we are doing right now.”
Asked about Coach Kelly coming into banquet and if he talked to any of the players:
“No, he wasn’t talking to anybody. It was a little Hollywood deal. He came in; it was like a scene from a movie when he got in here. Everybody knew what was going on. He never had any security like that before. I mean he already won Coach of the Year before, so all that security wasn’t necessary. I think he was worried about what was going to go on with the city and the fans if anything. People just want honesty; we just want him to be straight up with us. If you’re going to leave, then leave. I feel like he had this in his head that he was going to leave for awhile now. Everybody knows the situation now. It’s human nature that you’re going to take more money, it is what it is, a business decision.
Asked if he knew if Kelly would coach them in the Sugar Bowl:
“I hope not, I hope he don’t even show up for the Sugar Bowl. I hope he makes sure all his attention is on South Bend, because that’s all he has been doing. All he has been doing is focusing his attention on South Bend. He has a job now so in my opinion he needs to hurry up and get out of here ASAP, get up out of Cincinnati ASAP and just keep it moving. So I can get my troops back together and the coaches that are here for us, the ones that are here because those are the ones for us. So those guys can have the opportunity to take care of the team like they need to.”
Asked if he thinks by saying what he is saying there will be backlash against him:
“No, I don’t care man. The whole BK situation is over. I am a senior so its not really affecting me, I am just more upset about the young guys. (The phone hangs up after that)