Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly blamed in-season fundraising for the team's new facilities as part of the reason why the Fighting Irish struggled last season in an interview with Bleacher Report’s Matt Hayes. Kelly believes the time commitment into fundraising "f----d up last year's team."
Notre Dame finished last season with a 4–8 record, which was the second-worst record in five decades. After the season, Kelly reportedly had reached out to other coaching options outside of Notre Dame but later said that he remained fully committed to leading the football team.
"I was the absent professor," Kelly said. "I wasn't paying attention to the details that we needed. There were internal issues that—if a guy is on it, and he's doing his job as the head coach, he would've seen those things early. My flawed philosophy was, We're going to score points early while we're figuring it out on the other side with a young defense. Well, that didn't happen. We gave up way too many points early, we lost three games, and now we're in trouble."
Kelly still has time on his contract, which runs through the 2021 season. He has a 59–31 record in his seven seasons in South Bend.
During the offseason, Kelly hired defensive coordinator Mike Elko from Wake Forest and offensive coordinator Chip Long out of Memphis. Former Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Reese has been tasked as the new quarterbacks coach after spending time as an assistant with the San Diego Chargers and Northwestern.
Notre Dame will open the season on Sept. 2 against Temple.