Brian Kelly trolled on social media over staff rejections
Brian Kelly’s LSU tenure has gotten off to an awkward start, as he has struggled to get any of his former Notre Dame assistants to follow him to Baton Rouge.
Kelly has been turned down by multiple Notre Dame assistants despite reportedly making significant offers to try to tempt them into following him to LSU. Defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman appears set to replace Kelly as head coach at Notre Dame despite Kelly’s efforts to get him to take the defensive coordinator position at LSU. Notre Dame offensive coordinator Tommy Rees was also targeted by Kelly, but Rees opted to remain at Notre Dame.
Defensive line coach Mike Elston also turned down the chance to follow Kelly to LSU. He announced his decision in a very public way.
Notre Dame is home!! 12 years and counting!! Let’s ride fellas!!
— Mike Elston (@CoachMikeElston) December 2, 2021
According to John Brice of Football Scoop, director of football administration Beth Rex is essentially the only notable name to leave Notre Dame and join Kelly at LSU.
With Kelly already the subject of criticism and mockery for how his departure was handled, social media had a field day reacting to this series of rejections.
Brian Kelly looking at all his assistants he’s bringing to LSU. pic.twitter.com/hk9dV5eEmF
— The Transfer Portal CFB (@TPortalCFB) December 2, 2021
So Brian Kelly couldn’t convince a single assistant to leave Notre Dame?
They definitely got a group chat behind his back this whole time lmao.
— Daire Carragher (@DaireCarragher) December 2, 2021
— Everything ND (@EverythingND_) December 2, 2021
Notre Dame assistant coaches when Kelly asked them to leave Notre Dame: pic.twitter.com/wEfHtMQDfo
— Travis The Artist/Captain. Dolphins & ND=Playoffs (@irishbullphins2) December 2, 2021
— Tony Violi (@cigarmc) December 2, 2021
High-level coaching changes at this level are always a bit awkward. Kelly’s change, however, has gone worse than most. It wasn’t just that he essentially ghosted the entire school after the LSU news broke. He handled it poorly and awkwardly with players, and seems to have alienated a lot of people at Notre Dame. Maybe that’s why so few assistants are eager to follow him out the door.
In the end, this might not affect Kelly’s ability to win at LSU, but it doesn’t reflect too well upon the coach.
Dec 1, 2021; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Newly named LSU Tigers head football coach Brian Kelly answers media questions after being introduced in a press conference at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Dennis-USA TODAY Sports