Brian Kelly explains how Lou Holtz helped him get ND job
Posted by: Josh Kendall on Monday December 31, 2012
Posted by: Josh Kendall on December 31, 2012
Brian Kelly is trying to become the first coach to win a national championship at Notre Dame since Lou Holtz. If he does, the Golden Domers will owe another small thank you to Holtz for getting it started.
Kelly got his first head coaching job at Grand Valley State. That job came open in 1991 because Holtz hired Grand Valley State head coach Tom Beck to be his running backs coach.
"I did not know Lou Holtz at the time, but when I saw Lou in Orlando, he reminded me that he started my career," Kelly said. "Of course, that's Lou."
Now Kelly and the Irish are a week away from facing Alabama in the BCS national title game in Miami. Don't call it a bowl game around Kelly. Notre Dame's players will have an 11 p.m. or earlier curfew every night of the trip rather than the 2 a.m. time Kelly has given some of his teams during the early part of their bowl trips.
"This is not a bowl game. You're playing for the national championship. It's not about enjoying South Beach. This is about preparing for a national championship game," he said. "We'd rather play right here in South Bend, but you have to go down to Miami to play. I don't know why we've always got to go south to play. We'd rather have them come up here to play."
Preparing a game plan to face Alabama has been unique for Kelly, he said.
"There are other teams across the country, you could take one player and go, 'Wow, that's a premier player.' There's not one of their 11 guys that you can go, 'Let's go attack him.' Other weeks during the year, we can go, 'OK, let's get No. 4,'" Kelly said.
This is Kelly's third year at Notre Dame.
"The three years is not magic, but if you have good people and a good plan, it usually takes a while to come together," he said. "It seems like that three-year window is when it starts to come together."
Josh Kendall is a staff writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered the SEC for more than 15 years for papers such as the Athens Banner-Herald, Macon Telegraph, and The State. He’s the father of two boys who he’s hoping don’t inherit his wide receiver frame and offensive guard feet. Follow @EyeOnCoaches on twitter and send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org