Earlier today Ben noted that Penn State’s Bill O’Brien claimed the Maxwell Coach of the Year Award over, among others, Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly.
A short time later, the award roles were reversed.
For leading the Irish to a perfect 12-0 regular-season record and giving the school its first shot at a national championship since 1988, Kelly has been tabbed as the Associated Press Coach of the Year. Kelly is the first Notre Dame head coach to claim the AP honor, which was established in 1998.
“When you’re talking about the coach of the year, there’s so many things that go into it,” Kelly said. “I know it’s an individual award and it goes to one guy, but the feelings that I get from it is you’re building the right staff, that you’ve got the right players and to me that is a validation of the program. That you put together the right business plan.”
Kelly was named on 25 first-place ballots, followed by O’Brien (14), Stanford’s David Shaw (four), Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin (three), Kansas State’s Bill Snyder (two) and Alabama’s Nick Saban (one).