Brian Kelly to stay at Notre Dame

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Brian Kelly will remain Notre Dame’s football coach, the school announced Saturday.

“This week, I had an incredible opportunity to speak with one of the premier organizations in sports about becoming their head coach,” Kelly said in a statement released by the school.

“Like every kid who has ever put on a pair of football cleats, I have had thoughts about being a part of the NFL. However, after much reflection and conversation with those closest to me, I have decided to remain at Notre Dame.”

Kelly interviewed with the Eagles on Tuesday, the day after the Irish’s 42-14 loss to Alabama in the BCS championship game, but no word had emanated from South Bend on the status of the discussions until Saturday.

“This decision was motivated purely by my love for Notre Dame and the entire Fighting Irish community, the young men I have the great fortune to coach, and my desire to continue to build the best football program in the country,” Kelly said. “We still have a lot of work to do and my staff and I are excited about the challenges ahead.”

An extension and raise have been on the table for Kelly since well before the BCS title game took place and the process toward that is expected to continue.

“I was always confident that Brian would continue to lead our football program,” athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in a statement. “I am very happy to have that confirmed and share Brian’s excitement about what lies ahead for our program.

“I appreciate the Eagles reaching out to request permission to speak with Brian, and I also appreciate Brian keeping me fully informed throughout this process. We all look forward to what’s ahead for Notre Dame football.”

By Brian Hamilton Tribune reporter

Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

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