[Guest post by DRJ]
Cincinnati Coach Brian Kelly has been named the head football coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish:
“Notre Dame has settled on Brian Kelly as the man who can restore its faded glory, just as he turned Cincinnati into a national title contender.
He’s leaving behind an undefeated and upset Cincinnati team that didn’t seem prepared to lose him despite rampant speculation that the job was his.”
This is tough news for the bowl-bound Cincinnati Bearcats, especially since the news broke on the same night as the team’s annual football banquet:
“The team held its annual football banquet at a downtown hotel on Thursday night. As players arrived for what was supposed to be a night of celebration, they were greeted by camera crews and reporters asking about Kelly’s decision to leave Cincinnati for Notre Dame.
Three hours later, players were told to gather in a meeting room so Kelly could share the news that most already knew.
One minute into the meeting, the door opened and Gilyard walked out angry and alone, save his MVP trophy. His teammates soon followed, some with teary eyes. They had a difficult time accepting that Kelly was leaving one of the nation’s top teams before its biggest bowl game.
“We already knew what he was going to say. We weren’t giving him a round of applause or anything,” tight end Ben Guidugli said. “It’s like somebody turned their back on us. We brought this whole thing this far. We’ve come this far. To have someone walk out now is disappointing.”
Kelly’s statements leading up to a title-clinching win over Pittsburgh last Saturday made it harder to accept.
“The Tuesday when we were practicing for Pittsburgh, he said he loves it here and he loves this team and loves coaching here and his family loves it here,” quarterback Tony Pike said.
Notre Dame was one of the few jobs Kelly has always coveted. Guidugli said Kelly thanked the players for making the move possible by doing so well on the field.”
I guess this is good for Kelly but that’s a harsh way to treat his current team.