Brian Kelly is returning to Notre Dame after he flirted with the Philadelphia Eagles and had thoughts about leaving South Bend for the NFL. Although he is staying at least for one more season, usually fanbases have a hard time forgetting that the head guy in charge had even the slightest idea of leaving for a possible better opportunity.
Notre Dame shouldn't be one of those bitter fanbases because Kelly isn't going anywhere.
It would be way too premature for Kelly to leave Notre Dame, and leaving would just give another guy the opportunity to build on the groundwork that he laid. It just isn't going to happen. It wasn't going to happen with the Eagles and it won't happen when many other NFL opportunities open up next year and the year after.
This was just a case of Kelly making Notre Dame feel threatened and wanting a bigger piece of the pie. Kelly led the Irish to a national championship and felt that his pockets needed to get a little fatter for the things he accomplished this past season.
His strategy paid off as Joe Schad of ESPN reported:
Source says Brian Kelly and Notre Dame working toward extension and raise though "still some work to do."— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) January 12, 2013
Ah, it must be so nice to be a head coach these days and receive a raise just by threatening your current employer by leaving. But now that everything is wonderful again in South Bend, everybody can be happy and enjoy what is unfolding before our very eyes. Kelly is going to get paid like he should and the Irish are going to be winning many games from here on out.
Leaving Notre Dame just doesn't make much sense at this point and it doesn't in the future.
If there is one program out there that doesn't have any issues with money, it is Notre Dame. As long as Kelly keeps the success rolling, he will continue to count the dollar signs when he is sleeping. While the details of his new contract aren't out yet, this is a school that would have no problem matching whatever an NFL team is willing to pay him.
With winning also comes fabulous recruiting, as this season has shown what reaching the national championship can do for your future. Notre Dame currently has the No. 4 recruiting class according to 247sports.com. That includes a total of 16 players that are rated at least 4-star prospects.
Would you really let somebody else coach all of that talent?
Oh, the NFL is a much bigger stage and would allow Kelly to receive more credit and publicity for his success. This would true be if Kelly was still the coach at Grand Valley State or Central Michigan. But this is Notre Dame, without question one of the most prestigious programs in college sports, a school that receives tons of publicity regardless of how the team is performing.
Do you forgive Kelly for interviewing for an NFL coaching job?
In the NFL, you are only talked about consistently when you reach the level of Bill Belichick. Being the coach of the Irish gets you plastered on the internet and has everybody watching your every move like an update of Kim Kardashian.
Money and notoriety are the two main reasons coaches leave college for the NFL, but those are two things that Notre Dame already provides.
If we are talking about Kelly leaving college for a steeper challenge at the next level, it wouldn't make much sense either. Although Kelly has led teams to a BCS bowl and a Division II national championship in the past, he really hasn't won anything on a large scale. He has won 71 percent of his games as a head coach, but we aren't talking about Nick Saban, who can fill up your house with awards and championship hardware.
Kelly is really in a great position right now. He coaches one of the best programs you can find at the collegiate level. He has put this program back on the map and the success looks brighter than ever heading into the 2013 season.
There are many guys that would love to jump at the opportunity of coaching an NFL franchise. However, Kelly is not one of them at the moment and because of this, the Irish fans can forgive him for even entertaining the idea.