On Friday, Brian Kelly was officially named head coach at Notre Dame. This came as no surprise to anybody as it has been speculated since the loss to Navy that Brian Kelly would be the guy to take over at Notre Dame.
Kelly called this his dream job. Growing up an Irish Catholic in Boston, Notre Dame has always been appealing to him. After the press conference, Kelly met with his new players for the first time. He will officially take over on Monday. Unfortunately for Cincinnati, that does mean he will not coach them in the Sugar Bowl.
When he takes over he will have to get right to work. He will have no time to be on cloud nine over landing his dream job. Otherwise, his dream job could become a nightmare.
It is the heart of recruiting season. He is expected to land many the top recruits the way Charlie Weis did.
He will also have to begin to prepare for the spring. Even with the departures of Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate, Kelly will inherit a very talented group of players. Notable returnees will be Michael Floyd, Armando Allen, Kyle Rudolph, Robert Hughes, and Theo Riddick.
He also has to hope freshman sensation Manti Te'o doesn't go on his mission just yet. Another challenge will be to develop some of the young talented but inexperienced players. Those include Tyler Stockton, John Goodman, Cierre Wood, and Shaquelle Evans.
The biggest obstacle Kelly will have to overcome is how to bring Dayne Crist along. The heir apparent to Clausen is still very raw. He did show some potential against Purdue and Washington State. However, in that Washington State game he suffered a torn ACL. That injury is expected to keep him out of spring practice.
That will make it very difficult to get Crist comfortable with the new offense. It will be interesting to see how Kelly plans to overcome this obstacle.
Another huge factor Kelly has to deal with is hiring the right defensive coordinator. Robert Blanton, Brian Smith, and Toryan Smith all had disappointing years under John Tenuta. If Kelly can't find the right guy to run his defense, he will have the same problem Weis did. Having to be in a shoot out every week and losing some heartbreakers in spite having a really good offense.
These obstacles won't be easy to overcome, but Kelly is expected to find a way to do so. Then the Irish can have a very successful season in 2010.
Kelly is coming in with quite a resume. He built a dynasty at Grand Valley State. He took Central Michigan and then Cincinnati to heights they have never been to before. No doubt that is an impressive resume but now he is at a place where he will be in the spotlight all year.
Irish fans won't care next fall about what he did elsewhere. They want to restore the fight in the Fighting Irish.
So congratulations Mr. Kelly on getting your dream job. Enjoy your weekend and be ready to get to work on Monday. This song is dedicated to the new coach of Notre Dame. It is what Irish fans are expecting of you.
This article is also posted on http://fightingirishgameday.com/