After spending 13 seasons as the head coach at Division II Grand Valley State, it might have seemed as if Brian Kelly would be staying in Allendale, Michigan for the rest of his professional life.
But a funny thing happened on the way to social security: Kelly turned Grand Valley State into a Division II powerhouse. And with national championships comes Division I suitors.
After leading the Lakers to three-straight title game appearances and two titles, Central Michigan came calling, and Kelly was off to Mount Pleasant.
After turning the perennial MAC cellar-dweller Chippewas into MAC champions, Kelly got his next big break when Cincinnati and their BCS conference cred came rolling into town. Kelly took the next step up the coaching ladder by singlehandedly resurrecting the Cincinnati program and transforming the Bearcats into a national power.
But as an Irish Catholic, Kelly had made no secret of the fact that his all-time coaching dream job was in South Bend. So after earning the previously unknown Bearcats two consecutive Big East titles and BCS berths, the powers that be under the golden dome figured it would be a snap to do the same at a program with the resources, history and mystique of Notre Dame.
Kelly began his career in South Bend with a respectable 8-5 record, and the Irish are on track to improve upon that number this season.
While there may not be a BCS bowl in the cards for this January, you can bet that it won't be long before Kelly has the Irish program looking and operating just the way he wants.
Once he does, you can bet that Notre Dame will become a annual BCS championship contender, and the only way to remove Kelly from South Bend will likely be on a stretcher. The man lives and breathes Notre Dame, and he's likely to spend the rest of his coaching years guiding the Gold and Blue.