Skip to main content

Video: Brian Kelly Explains Why He Took LSU Job to Tigers Players

Brian Kelly shocked the college football world on Monday, taking the job at LSU after 12 years at Notre Dame. He stands to make over $10 million per year, with bonuses included, according to Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger

On Tuesday, Kelly reportedly had a very brief meeting with Notre Dame players. ESPN's Adam Rittenberg reports that it lasted around 11 minutes, while Pete Sampson of The Athletic says that it was closer to two minutes and that he didn't stay to answer any questions about his abrupt departure. 

Later in the day, a cheery Kelly met with his new players at LSU, laying out why he left South Bend for Baton Rouge.

"I'm here because I wanted to coach the very best players in the country, that are afforded the best resources in the country, and play in the best conference in the country," Kelly said. "That is an incredible challenge to a football coach."

Kelly has posted a 145–61 record as an FBS head coach with stints at Central Michigan, Cincinnati and Notre Dame. The Massachusetts native has spent his entire FBS coaching career in the Midwest, with Cincinnati being the southernmost program on his résumé.

Watch NCAA football games online all season long with fuboTV: Start with a 7-day free trial!

He will have to contend with annual SEC schedules. Notre Dame fared well as a one-year member of the ACC in 2020, and Cincinnati was dominant during his final two seasons in the Big East, but the SEC is a much greater challenge, with annual games against the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M.

SI Recommends

Kelly mentioned the talent of LSU's players, and the resources and administrative will to win on multiple occasions:

"I get a chance to coach LSU football players, the best in the country, that have the best resources, that have an administration that's aligned to that end," Kelly said. "Why wouldn't I be here?"

Kelly will hold his first press conference as LSU coach at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday afternoon. He leaves a Notre Dame team currently ranked No. 6 in the country, and very much in the College Football Playoff hunt. He will not coach his now-former team this postseason. 

More College Football Coverage:

For more news on the LSU Tigers, head over to LSU Country.

Sports Illustrated may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.