News and Commentary

Brian Kelly To LSU As Coaching Carousel Continues
SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 20: Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is seen during the game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Notre Dame Stadium on November 20, 2021 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Less than two days after Louisiana State University (LSU) lost what appeared to be their top coaching candidate, the Tigers have made a shocking and impressive splash hire, stealing Brian Kelly away from Notre Dame. 

The news was first reported by Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports on Monday evening, with multiple outlets confirming the report. 

LSU officially announced the hire Tuesday morning, confirming that Kelly’s contract is worth $95 million over 10 years.

“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. “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.”

Notre Dame beat writer Pete Sampson shared a late-night message reportedly from Kelly to his Notre Dame players, following reports that he had accepted the LSU head coaching position. 

“Men … Let me first apologize for the late night text, and, more importantly, for not being able to share the news with you in person that I will be leaving Notre Dame,” the message said. “I am flying back to South Bend tonight to be able to meet with you in the morning but the news broke late and I’m sorry you found out through social media or news reports … Again, my sincere apologies for not being able to be the one to share the news with you directly. Coach Kelly.”

Kelly first became head coach at Notre Dame in 2010, following four years as head coach at Cincinnati. Kelly led the Bearcats to a 12-0 record in his final season at the helm. 

He leaves Notre Dame as the all-time winningest coach in program history, winning 113 games in 12 seasons in South Bend. Kelly led the Irish to the College Football Playoff in 2018 and 2020, as well as the BCS title game in 2012. 

Last week, Kelly was asked whether he’d ever leave Notre Dame, a question he shot down.

“No,” Kelly said. “I mean, look, I think Mike Tomlin [Pittsburgh Steelers head coach] had the best line, right? Unless the fairy godmother comes by with that $250 million check, my wife would want to take a look at that first. I’d have to run it by her.”

LSU has been conducting a national search for their next head coach after announcing in October that Ed Orgeron would not be returning after the 2021 season. 

It’s been a wild 24 hours in college football, with Lincoln Riley bolting Oklahoma for the USC head coaching position Sunday evening. 

The news came just a day after Riley’s Sooners lost to Oklahoma State 37-33 in the Bedlam Series. The loss was the second of the season for Oklahoma, and ended their hopes of a Big 12 Championship. No. 8 Baylor and No. 7 Oklahoma State will play for the conference title Saturday at 12:00 p.m. ET.

Following Saturday’s loss to the Cowboys, Riley told reporters that he would not be taking the LSU head coaching position, a job he was rumored to be the favorite for.

“I’m not going to be the next head coach at LSU,” Riley said.

USC had been searching for its next head coach since firing Clay Helton in September, who went 46-24 in his seven years in charge of the program.

It’s a major hire for a USC program that has never made the College Football Playoff, and has lost its title as the dominant program on the West Coast.

“Lincoln is universally considered one of the brightest and most talented football coaches in the nation, and the fact that he chose USC is a testament to the strength of our brand, the power of the Trojan Family, and the leadership of our university,” Director of Athletics Mike Bohn said on Sunday. “This is for our current players, our former players, our alumni, our fans, and our entire university community. Our time is now.”

This article has been updated to include additional information. 

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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