Brian Kelly has reportedly reached out to his Notre Dame roster hours after news broke that he is heading to LSU. The Notre Dame players and coaching staff found out the news like the vast majority of objective observers: through social media and news reports.
At first, reports indicated Kelly “ghosted” his Notre Dame coaching staff, who reportedly did not hear from him personally prior to the news. It’s unclear if he has spoken with his coaching staff since the news broke Monday evening, but he has reportedly texted his players to apologize for not breaking the news himself, per The Athletic.
“Men … Let me first apologize for the late night text and, more importantly, for not being able to share the news with you in person that I will be leaving Notre Dame,” the text read. “I am flying back to South Bend tonight to be able to meet with you in the morning but the news broke late today and I am sorry you found out through social media or news reports.”
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The text goes on to say that Kelly is proud of all his team has accomplished. The Fighting Irish are 11-1, and likely need only a few upsets during conference championship weekend to make the College Football Playoff for the third time.
“But for now, just know that my love for you is limitless and I am so proud of all that you have accomplished. Our program is elite because of your hard work and commitment and I know that will continue,” the text reads. “Again, my sincere apologies for not being able to be the one to share the news directly with you.”
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Although fans are joking that this is Kelly’s “breakup text” to his team, it’s the first reported statement from Kelly that would confirm his move to LSU. He hasn’t spoken with media or posted any official statements.
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Kelly is leaving the Notre Dame program after coaching there since 2010. He signed a contract extension in 2020 that was supposed to last through 2024.
He became Notre Dame’s winningest coach in history this season, passing Knute Rockne’s record of 105 wins. His overall record at Notre Dame is 113-40, which includes seven seasons — and five straight — of double-digit wins. The Fighting Irish have made the playoff two times in 2018 and 2020, and also made the 2013 BCS championship game. They lost all three of those games by an average of 24 points per game.