Brian Kelly Finally Explains Why He Left Notre Dame

Ernesto Cova

In a shocking turn of events, Brian Kelly decided to leave the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to lead the post-Ed Orgeron era with the LSU Tigers.

Coach Kelly drew plenty of criticism for how he left the team on short notice, especially considering they can still make the College Football Playoffs.

Apparently, his farewell was a brief as it was surprising for the players:

"Brian Kelly’s goodbye to Notre Dame players on Tuesday morning was brief. As in, 11 minutes," the New York Post reported.

Kelly Says He Didn't Expect The Opportunity

As abrupt as his departure was, the veteran head coach assured that the opportunity was somewhat surprising for him as he wasn't expecting a change of scenery and wasn't actively looking for another job:

"There was no plan in place as I entered the 2021 season that I was looking for another opportunity," Kelly told the media, as quoted by USA Today. "As I spoke with more people about this opportunity, I felt it was something I had to take on."


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It Wasn't An Easy Decision To Make

Kelly expressed his love for the Fighting Irish and its players and thanked them for the past 12 years.

Even so, he thought he was ready to embark on a bigger challenge and take a rebuilding program back to where it belongs:

"It's never easy," the two-time AP College Football Coach of the Year said. "Those young men, I love dearly. It made for a difficult decision. But when I was able to look at it and with the opportunity here was one that I got a chance to talk to (LSU athletic director Scott Woodward) about the resources and the opportunity here to really make a significant change. I believe that I can make a significant difference here."

"I Wanted To Be With The Best, Says Kelly"

Kelly, who led the Fighting Irish to a couple of playoff berths in his 12 years in charge of the program, looked eager to facing top-notch competition in the SEC:

"I came down here because I wanted to be with the best," Kelly added. "The standard of expectation. You're looked at in terms of championships here and I want that. I want to be under the bright lights. That's part of the draw."

Expectations will be higher at the Death Valley as the Tigers look to get back to the top of the toughest conference in all of College Football.

The Fighting Irish Could Still Make The Playoffs

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Coach Kelly's departure came at a complicated time for the Fighting Irish.

While unlikely, there's still a slim chance that the team will still make the playoffs at 11-1 and currently riding a seven-game winning streak.

The Fighting Irish need some things to go their way during Championship Weekend to clinch a spot in the top 6.

In that case, former assistant coach Marcus Freeman, who was recently named as Kelly's replacement; will be in charge of calling the shots for Notre Dame.