Brian Kelly Says Differences With Notre Dame Administration Led to Him Taking LSU Job

Doric SamJune 1, 2022

LSU head coach Brian Kelly walks on the field during LSU Pro Day in Baton Rouge, La., Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

LSU Tigers head coach Brian Kelly doesn't have any ill feelings toward how his tenure with Notre Dame came to an end, but he recently admitted that differences between him and the school's administration led to his exit.

"I just think we're at a different place," Kelly said on The Paul Finebaum Show (h/t Dean Straka of 247Sports). "The administration felt they were in a position where they had done what they needed to do. I felt there was more that needed to be done. And I was fine with that decision."

Kelly further explained that he and the Notre Dame administration had different outlooks on the timetable for success within the program. He added that the LSU opening was an opportunity he couldn't pass up.

"My clock was at a different place. This happens everywhere in life. ... But it's just my clock and in terms of what I needed to see happen was at a different time," Kelly said. "But they'll get to those things. It's just—this opportunity opened up at the same time. It's time and place. And this opportunity is one I just felt like I needed to take."

Kelly coached the Fighting Irish to a 113-40 record in his 12 seasons at the helm, although 21 wins in 2012 and '13 were vacated. He finished his tenure with five consecutive years of at least 10 wins. Notre Dame reached the BCS National Championship Game in the 2012 season and advanced to the College Football Playoff in 2018 and 2020, but fell in the semifinals both times.

Notre Dame promoted defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to head coach to replace Kelly.

LSU is coming off back-to-back subpar seasons following its 2019 national championship victory. The Tigers went a combined 11-12 in the last two years, and the decision to part ways with former head coach Ed Orgeron was made before the 2021 season ended.

Kelly will coach his first game with the Tigers on Sept. 4 against Florida State in New Orleans in a neutral-site season opener.