BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU officially named Brian Kelly as their new head football coach on Tuesday morning. Kelly will become the 34th coach in the program's history when he is introduced in a press conference on Wednesday.
Fans are invited to welcome Coach Kelly and his family when their flight arrives at the BTR Jet Center at approximately 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“I could not be more excited to join a program with the commitment to excellence, rich traditions, and unrivaled pride and passion of LSU Football,” Kelly said. “I am fully committed to recruiting, developing, and graduating elite student-athletes, winning championships, and working together with our administration to make Louisiana proud. Our potential is unlimited, and I cannot wait to call Baton Rouge home.”
LSU said in a release that Kelly will receive a ten-year, $95 million contract, plus incentives.
“Brian Kelly is the epitome of a winner,” Woodward said. “He has built and sustained success at every program he’s led, from multiple undefeated regular seasons and National Coach of the Year honors to national titles and College Football Playoff berths. His credentials and consistency speak for themselves.
After missing out on a chance to poach Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma, LSU will now do what few, if any programs have done, steal a coach from what was once considered college football's most prestigious program and one that has its own broadcasting contract.
Notre Dame has dallied with college football's elite but has never seemed to be able to join the club that recently has included Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State and usually one additional SEC school.
By moving to the SEC, he'll be in direct competition with the same schools he recruited against and powerhouses like Bama, Georgia, and Florida and with Texas and Oklahoma on the way.
Kelly has been the head coach at Notre Dame since 2010, a tenure which has been highlighted by one trip to the BCS National Championship in 2012, and three College Football Playoff appearances, in 2015, 2018, and 2020, respectively. Prior to his stint with the Fighting Irish, Kelly served as head coach of Division I programs Cincinnati and Central Michigan, and Division II Grand Valley State. Kelly has 263 career wins, which is currently third among active FBS coaches, behind only Alabama head coach Nick Saban and North Carolina head coach Mack Brown. Kelly has also earned a reputation as a gifted recruiter, an asset which is highly sought after in college coaches.
LSU had previously been linked to now-former Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley as recently as Saturday, with multiple reports suggesting a deal between LSU and Riley was "imminent." Riley shocked the college football world on Sunday afternoon when he announced he was taking over the program at Southern California.
If the hiring of Kelly comes to fruition, it would once again mark what has been a pattern by LSU athletic director Scott Woodward of aggressively pursuing coaches of hot commodity. On April 25, Woodward shocked many in the college sports landscape when he hired national champion head coach Kim Mulkey away from her longtime home of Baylor to lead the Tigers women's basketball program. Woodward made similar waves on June 24 when he poached Arizona head baseball coach Jay Johnson to head up the Tigers program after the retirement of longtime Tigers coach Paul Mainieri.