When Brian Kelly was asked on Nov. 22 whether he would ever leave Notre Dame for another school, he claimed he wouldn’t.
Indeed, Kelly went so far as to channel Steelers coach Mike Tomlin in saying why he wouldn’t leave Notre Dame for anything short of a “fairy godmother” coming by with a $250 million check — at which point he may ask his wife.
Brian Kelly asked if he’d ever leave Notre Dame, aside from retirement: “No. I mean, look, I think Mike Tomlin had the best line, right? Unless that fairy godmother comes by with that $250M check, my wife would want to take a look at it first. I’d have to run it by her.”
— Matt Fortuna (@Matt_Fortuna) November 22, 2021
Ironically enough, Kelly reportedly is headed to LSU to take over the head coach position from Ed Orgeron, just a week after saying he would not leave the Fighting Irish for another program
Kelly originally offered the line when asked if he would leave Notre Dame for the USC position, which was filled by Lincoln Riley on Sunday. That was not the first time Kelly had indicated he would finish his career at Notre Dame, as illustrated in this 2020 interview with Brett McMurphy and Matt Hayes:
Last year when I was w/Stadium, @MattHayesCFB & I interviewed Brian Kelly & asked him if he would finish his career at Notre Dame. He said he would. “This is where I want to be,” Kelly said pic.twitter.com/7Q82dEoj2G
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) November 30, 2021
Kelly’s name has been thrown in the LSU discussions for a while, but there were never any serious talks until Monday. The Athletic first reported that LSU was “aggressively pushing” for Kelly, and then Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports reported the move would be made official on Tuesday.
Sources: LSU is expecting to hire Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly as the school’s next head coach. An announcement could come as early as tomorrow.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) November 30, 2021
Whether LSU did offer Kelly a $250 million check is unknown, although it is quite possible. Under Kelly’s current contract at Notre Dame, he was set to continue coaching up until 2024. His exact contract salary at Notre Dame is unknown since the school is private.
According to Matt Fortuna of The Athletic, who sent out the original tweet with Kelly’s comment, Notre Dame’s coaches, admins and boosters were all shocked by the news. None of them saw it coming, apparently.
The details of Kelly’s move to LSU is still developing. Kelly or LSU have not made official statements yet, and the contract details have not been released.
That said, Matt Fortuna of The Athletic reports the Tigers have offered a contract of 10 years and “north of $100 million” with incentives.
LSU’s offer to Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly is a 10-year deal that will take him north of $100 million with incentives, sources tell @BrodyAMiller and me.
— Matt Fortuna (@Matt_Fortuna) November 30, 2021