Brian Kelly is ‘explor[ing] coaching options’ after Notre Dame’s disappointing season, Yahoo’s Pat Forde reports.
Kelly told reporters after Saturday’s loss to USC that he ‘absolutely’ expected to be back with the Irish next season, but has reportedly reached out behind the scenes ‘through representatives’ to gauge other job possibilities.
The Irish went 4–8 this season, Kelly’s seventh as head coach and the school’s second-worst record in 52 years. He is 59–31 with the program.
Notre Dame was also hit with penalties from the NCAA this week after academic misconduct findings, including 21 vacated wins from the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Forde reports that his interest in other jobs was unrelated to the sanctions.
"There was some discussion as to why I'm coming back [to campus] early, and I don't believe I'm coming back early because I'm getting fired. [Notre Dame athletic director] Jack [Swarbrick] and I always meet at the end of the year, and I wanted to do some exit interviews with our players because I hadn't been able to do that,” Kelly told reporters after the game Saturday, emphasizing he felt secure in his role.
“Everything is on the table," Kelly also said. “I think I have to evaluate a lot of things within the program. There are some really good things in place, but I've always felt the blend of continuity and change is the sweet spot. We need to clearly look where that is, because it was off, and so I have to clearly look where that mix of continuity and change is. I'll get to work on it immediately, starting on Monday.”
Notre Dame lost 45–27 to USC in South Bend, and will not be bowl-eligible for the first time since 2007, under Charlie Weis.