Image from nj.com
The turnaround that Kelly has led at Notre Dame is remarkable, especially considering where the program was before he got there. Notre Dame has a 12-0 regular season for the first time since 1988 and just the second time in school history, not to mention this is the Notre Dame’s first chance to play for a national title in over 20 years.
Kelly’s 28 wins at Notre Dame in his first three seasons are tied for the most of any Fighting Irish coach in such a time frame. He’s also the first Notre Dame coach since Lou Holtz (1994-96) to record three consecutive winning seasons.
Under his guidance, Tyler Eifert, one of Kelly’s top players was named winner of the John Mackey Award, which goes to college football’s best tight end. Moreover, Linebacker Manti Te’o also brings home the Bronko Nagurski Award, the Dick Butkus Award, and the Vince Lombardi/Rotary Award. After spending two seasons demanding excellence from his players and riding them with a hard edge, the head of the Irish football program reconnected with his players, spending more time with them, breaking down the wall that had been erected as he put the ownership of the team back into the hands of its leaders. This in turn transitioned to remarkable success on the field.
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