During and after yesterday’s Notre Dame Fighting Irish loss to the USC Trojans, rumors began swirling that head coach Brian Kelly had directed his representatives to begin a search of head coaching options for next year. Other rumors began flying that the Notre Dame administration was preparing to talk about firing Kelly. However, Kelly put those rumors to rest with a statement that he is “fully committed to leading” the Irish program in the future.
Kelly’s future came in doubt after the Irish finished the 2016 season with their worst record in almost 10 years. In fact, the Irish had their worst season under Kelly’s seven year tenure at the helm of the Notre Dame football team. The team, finishing 4-8, is not bowl eligible for the first time since 2009 and failed to reach at least 8 wins for the first time since 2009. Prior to this season, Kelly’s worst win-loss record at Notre Dame was 8-5 which occurred 2010, 2011, and 2014.
Ultimately, the Notre Dame faithful and administration will not allow another season like this to occur without a change. During 2016, Kelly fired defensive coordinator Brian VanGoorder but the effects of that will not be seen until a few games into the 2017 season. Kelly and the Irish will be looked for another starting quarterback because it is almost certain that Deshone Kizer will leave the Irish in order to pursue an NFL football career.
With a lot of commitments still to come, the Irish currently have the #6 2017 recruiting class which should provide immediate and much needed help to the football team.