Notre Dame AD says Brian Kelly will be back next year, not be fired
Notre Dame has been arguably the most disappointing team in college football this season, but that is not going to cost the team’s head coach his job.
According to Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, Brian Kelly is not coaching for his job against Miami next weekend and will be back with the team in 2017.
“Brian will lead this team out of the tunnel opening day next year,” Swarbrick told Matt Fortuna of ESPN.com.
The Irish are 2-5 and have lost four of their last five games. They fired defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder last month but have not improved since. Kelly has been criticized for publicly calling out his players and berating them on the sidelines, but Swarbrick insists the relationship between the coach and team is very strong.
“I’m not going to reveal the nature of the postgame discussion between Brian and the team after Stanford [a loss on Saturday], but that was a discussion between a coach and a team who really care about each other and have a great relationship, and that’s what I get to see every day,” Swarbrick said. “What we have to do is try to avoid the situation, which creates a different perception because that perception doesn’t reflect the reality. We have to figure out how to be better at it.”
Kelly made the questionable decision to bench DeShone Kizer on Saturday after the junior quarterback threw two interceptions. Kizer is considered one of the top quarterback prospects in the country, and one former Notre Dame player unloaded on Kelly for not showing confidence in his leader.
If Notre Dame continues its downward trend, Swarbrick might be change his mind. That said, Kelly has a 57-28 record in seven seasons as the head coach of the Irish. Perhaps he has earned the benefit of the doubt.