For those looking — or hoping — for Brian Kelly to be on the coaching hot seat, it appears you’ll have to wait another year or more.
Kelly’s Notre Dame squad, which began 2016 ranked 10th in the Associated Press Top 25, has had its fair share of issues on the field, stumbling to a 2-5 start that’s the program’s worst since 2007. There have also been issues off the field related to those on-field struggles, with Kelly firing his defensive coordinator and throwing his players under the bus for good measure. Former Irish football players have sounded off and taken aim as well.
Add it all up, and it had some thinking that Kelly might not be long for South Bend. At least publicly, Kelly’s boss is emphatically putting the kibosh on such talk.
“Brian will lead this team out of the tunnel opening day next year,” Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick told ESPN.com earlier today. “I can tell you I continue to have complete confidence in Brian. … I get to see the program day in and day out and I continue to have great confidence in Brian and confidence in our future as a program.”
Kelly is in the midst of his seventh season at the school. In the previous six, he’d led the Irish to a 55-23 mark. Included in that total are a pair of 10-plus win seasons as well as an appearance in the BCS title game following the 2012 regular season.
In late January of this year, Kelly and the university reached an agreement on a six-year contract extension that runs through the 2021 season.