Brian Kelly was expected to turn around the Notre Dame program upon arrival in 2010, but no one expected a national title run this year with the schedule that was placed before this Irish team to begin his third season with the program.
Kelly has Notre Dame back at the top of the college football world for the first time in many years. A win in the BCS title game would place Kelly in elite company in South Bend, and would make him one of the best coaches in college football history.
Kelly is now only one win away from the coveted 200-win mark in his NCAA career with a national title win pushing him into that elite category. There have only been 71 coaches that have ever reached 200 wins—Kelly could become No. 72.
Of the 71 coaches that have achieved 200 wins, Kelly’s win percentage with 199 wins (113-81, .717) would place him at No. 17. Brian Kelly knows how to win football games and is easily one of the best coaches to ever don a headset.
Comparing college football coaches over the past century of football is a difficult science.
With the limitations to scholarships, APR ratings tied to eligibility—which began in 1990—and the ever-expanding FBS lineup, winning ballgames at the highest level of college football is more difficult than ever.
Coaching at the FBS level has become a challenge on a number of fronts. Coaches 50 years ago were coaches and leaders, now they are CEO’s and Kelly is one of the best in the game.
Kelly led Grand Valley State to six playoff runs in Division II and three national title games. His Lakers won two titles under his guidance.
After leaving Grand Valley State, Kelly turned around a reeling Central Michigan program, launched Cincinnati onto the national stage with a BCS bowl berth and now has the Fighting Irish as the No. 1 team in the highest level of college football competition.
In his career as a head coach Kelly has only had one losing season—his first at Central Michigan—and within two seasons had the Chippewas playing in a bowl game for the first time since 1994. They had only played in two bowl games prior to his arrival, but have since played in five.
There hasn’t been a team that Kelly has coached that he hasn’t been able to turn into a winner.
Notre Dame has the ability to become a dynasty again under the leadership of Brian Kelly. A win in Miami will put him in elite company and begin the return of the Irish to the top of the college football world.