Brian Kelly Leaves Notre Dame for LSU
The search for LSU Football’s next championship head coach is over.
Brian Kelly, who has more victories than any active coach in major college football, has been hired as the head football coach at LSU, LSU Director of Athletics Scott Woodward announced on Tuesday.Kelly, who will receive a 10-year, $95 million contract, plus incentives, was formally introduced as the 34th head coach in LSU Football history at a press conference last Wednesday.
The most accomplished hire in program history, Kelly joins LSU – which has won national championships under each of its last three head coaches – with more than 280 career victories in his collegiate head coaching career, the most among active FBS coaches. He is one of only five active FBS coaches who have guided their programs to multiple undefeated regular seasons since 2009, and he has led his teams to the College Football Playoffs in two of the last three seasons.
“Brian Kelly is the epitome of a winner,” Woodward said. “He has built and sustained success at every program he’s led, from multiple undefeated regular seasons and National Coach of the Year honors to national titles and College Football Playoff berths. His credentials and consistency speak for themselves.
“Most importantly, Coach Kelly’s players and programs exemplify excellence in all aspects of the student-athlete experience – in competition, in the classroom, and throughout the community – and he shares our values and vision for elevating our university and our state. We’re thrilled to welcome him and his family to Baton Rouge, and we are excited to work with him as we add to the championship legacy of LSU Football.”
“I could not be more excited to join a program with the commitment to excellence, rich traditions, and unrivaled pride and passion of LSU Football,” Kelly said. “I am fully committed to recruiting, developing, and graduating elite student-athletes, winning championships, and working together with our administration to make Louisiana proud. Our potential is unlimited, and I cannot wait to call Baton Rouge home.”
In 31 years as a head coach, Kelly has amassed a record of 284-97-2, which ranks him first among all active FBS coaches in career victories, ahead of Alabama’s Nick Saban (272 wins) and North Carolina’s Mack Brown (265 wins). Kelly has only had two teams finish below .500 during his 31-year collegiate career.
For the past 12 years, he has served as the head coach at Notre Dame. He leaves South Bend as the Irish’s all-time winningest coach with 113 victories, moving ahead of legendary Knute Rockne for the top spot in 2021. His 12-year mark at Notre Dame stands at 113-40, which includes a 54-9 mark over the past five seasons.
During his Notre Dame career, Kelly led the Irish to the 2012 BCS national title game as well as College Football Playoff appearances in 2018 and 2020. He was named National Coach of the Year by numerous outlets in 2012 and 2018. He’s the only coach to win the Home Depot Coach of the Year Award more than once, and he’s done it three times (2009, 2012, and 2018).