The University of Notre Dame is now on the hunt for a new head football coach. Brian Kelly, who has led the Fighting Irish for 12 seasons, is leaving to become the new head coach at LSU.
The move was first reported Monday and made official by LSU this morning. The university says Kelly will receive a 10-year, $95 million contract to lead the Tigers and will be formally introduced as head coach on Wednesday.
Kelly is the winningest coach in Notre Dame’s history with a 113-40 record. The Irish completed an 11-1 season on Saturday and is still in contention to reach the College Football Playoff for the third time in the last four years.
During a news conference this morning, Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said he was not surprised by Kelly’s decision.
“There had been enough in the weeks leading up that gave me a pretty strong sense that there might be other things that were attracting Brian,” said Swarbrick. “Then, of course, social media got very active during the day yesterday. So, between the two things, I was not surprised.”
Swarbrick said he was not aware of Kelly speaking with other universities about potentially leaving, nor did Kelly reach out to him about potentially matching any offers.
“When we talked, he indicated that he was resigning to take another position. He thanked me for the opportunity the university had provided to him, thanked me for our friendship, which I very much appreciated and I wished him all the best.”
Swarbrick said he has not made a decision on an interim coach for the Irish, but did say the person chosen for that job would not be a candidate for the permanent position.
Swarbrick says he will lead the search for Kelly’s successor but added there is no timetable for making a decision. You can watch Swarbrick’s press conference in the video below, beginning at the 6:20 mark.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.