Is Brian Kelly bound for Broad Street? League sources have confirmed to the AP that Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly interviewed for the Philadelphia Eagles' vacant head coaching position just hours after Notre Dame's embarrassing 42-14 loss in the BCS National Championship Game. Coach Kelly's name was first tied to the Chicago Bears coaching search by the Chicago Tribune shortly after Lovie Smith was terminated on New Year's day. Throughout the week leading up to Monday night's BCS National Championship both Brian Kelly and Alabama coach Nick Saben (formerly of the NFL's Miami Dolphins) were repeated dogged by questions tying them to various vacancies in the NFL.In response to the questions Kelly said, "Leaving is not an option. I don't even think about it." Later he added, “I think, from my perspective, I’ve got the best job in the country -- NFL, college, high school, whatever.”
According to the league source the Eagles interest in the two time National Coach of the Year (2009, 2012) is real. The Eagles had previously been believed to be aggressive of Oregon's Coach Chip Kelly, who recently decided to remain in the college ranks. It remains to be seen whether Coach Brian Kelly is genuinely intrigued by the opportunity to coach football at the professional level. Brian Kelly is a career college coach who made stops at Grand Valley State, Central Michigan, and Cincinnati before taking over at Notre Dame following the 2009 season. While it is likely he interviewed simply to strengthen his position at his upcoming contract renegotiation with Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick, Kelly's track record suggests he may be ready to jump ship. After an extended run at Grand Valley State (1991-2003) that included two D-II national championships (2002, 2003) he exited both Central Michigan and Cincinnati after successful three year runs. Kelly just completed his third season at Notre Dame.
Undoubtedly Notre Dame will open its deep pockets to do whatever it takes to keep Coach Kelly in South Bend. When you consider that former Notre Dame Coach Charlie Weis was able to parlay a 5-2 start in 2005 into a 10 year $30-40 mil extension, Coach Kelly's haul will likely include the Golden Dome, Touchdown Jesus, and half the Vatican. Moreover, with the nation's #1 recruiting class incoming and a host of talented standouts from this year's 12-1 squad returning Notre Dame seems poised to make another run at the national championship in 2014. Stay tuned for more on this developing story.