LSU hires Brian Kelly: Notre Dame coach takes storied career to SEC after 12 seasons with Fighting Irish

LSU has hired Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly to fill its vacant position, sources tell CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd. It is believed the Tigers shifted to courting Kelly after whiffing on stealing Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley, who was instead hired by USC.

Kelly has led the Fighting Irish since 2010, becoming the winningest coach in program history this season. He is 113-40 overall at Notre Dame with two College Football Playoff berths and an appearance in the 2013 BCS Championship Game. The Irish have a chance to advance to a third playoff this season. Notre Dame has struggled in its postseason appearances, however. It lost 30-3 to Clemson in 2018 and 31-14 to Alabama in 2020. Against Bama in 2013, ND lost 42-14 in one of the most crushing losses in BCS history. 

The draw to LSU for Kelly is obvious. The last three Tigers coaches — Nick Saban, Les Miles, Ed Orgeron — have won national championships. Kelly would be able to take his recruiting to new heights and likely be compensated handsomely for it. 

However, Notre Dame found new life on the recruiting trail since Kelly hired Marcus Freeman from Cincinnati as defensive coordinator. The Fighting Irish have a projected top-five recruiting class in 2022 for the first time in a decade and are off to an even hotter start in 2023.

Asked last week whether he would have any interest in other jobs, Kelly gave a strong denial. Apparently, things have changed. 

“I mean, look, I think Mike Tomlin had the best line, right?” Unless that fairy godmother comes by with that $250 million check, my wife would want to take a look at it first. I’d have to run it by her,” said Kelly. 

LSU reached out to Kelly early in its process with Kelly initially turning down the Tigers, according to The Athletic, which…

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