Brian Kelly Will Spurn NFL Interest to Remain at Notre Dame

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Brian Kelly Will Spurn NFL Interest to Remain at Notre Dame

Notre Dame faithful everywhere are set to rejoice, as head coach Brian Kelly's flirtation with the NFL has come to a close.

 

UPDATE: Saturday, Jan. 12 at 6:06 p.m. ET by Ethan Grant

The news has been confirmed through an official press release by the school's website. Everyone associated with Notre Dame football is glad to have Kelly back in the fold, none more so than athletic director Jack Swarbrick, who had this to say concerning Kelly's return (via CBS Sports):  

I was always confident that Brian would continue to lead our football program, I am very happy to have that confirmed and share Brian's excitement about what lies ahead for our program.

Kelly also spoke up about his decision to stay at the University, and mentioned his life-long love of the game at the highest level as one of his motivating factors to both take the interview with the Philadelphia Eagles, and now return to Notre Dame:

Like every kid who has ever put on a pair of football cleats, I have had thoughts about being a part of the NFL. However, after much reflection and conversation with those closest to me, I have decided to remain at Notre Dame.

He continues:

This decision was motivated purely by my love for Notre Dame and the entire Fighting Irish community, the young men I have the great fortune to coach, and my desire to continue to build the best football program in the country.

We still have a lot of work to do and my staff and I are excited about the challenges ahead.

So there you have it. Kelly has decided to be the face of Notre Dame for the foreseeable future, a decision that certainly won't ruffle any feathers at the University. Kelly is safe as head coach—until the NFL comes knocking again, that is.

---End of Update---

 

Kelly will reportedly return to the Irish for his fourth season as head coach, per this report from CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman:

Notre Dame's athletic department followed the report with an official release. In it, Kelly commented on the Eagles' opportunity and his reasoning behind coming back to South Bend:

This week, I had an incredible opportunity to speak with one of the premier organizations in sports about becoming their head coach.

Like every kid who has ever put on a pair of football cleats, I have had thoughts about being a part of the NFL. However, after much reflection and conversation with those closest to me, I have decided to remain at Notre Dame.

This decision was motivated purely by my love for Notre Dame and the entire Fighting Irish community, the young men I have the great fortune to coach, and my desire to continue to build the best football program in the country.

We still have a lot of work to do and my staff and I are excited about the challenges ahead.

The news is a welcome treat for Notre Dame fans, as Kelly has revived the storied program to the tune of a BCS national championship appearance this season and a slew of top 2013 recruits headed to South Bend this fall.

Kelly had interviewed with the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday, a day after his Irish suffered their 42-14 loss in the title game. He was considered one of the favorites for the position after both Oregon's Chip Kelly and Penn State's Bill O'Brien passed on leaving college football for the NFL, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

Kelly has a 28-11 record over three years in South Bend, and he has given the program the face-lift it needed after years of futility under Charlie Weis and Tyrone Willingham.

He helped turn Manti Te'o into a Heisman candidate this season, and he guided the Irish to a 12-0 regular-season record and a No. 1 BCS ranking prior to the loss to Alabama in the title game.

In coming back to school, he'll now be able to retool around QB Everett Golson with his returning starters and a highly rated class of recruits. Notre Dame will once again be favored to make a deep run; no doubt, one of the calling cards in his decision to stay at the collegiate level.

 

Ethan Grant is a Featured Columnist for B/R's Breaking News Team.

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