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Brian Kelly

Dec 3, 2022; Atlanta, GA, USA; LSU Tigers head coach Brian Kelly walks off after their 50-30 loss against the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Kelly is entering his second season as LSU’s head football coach.

Kelly stunned the college football world when he took the Tigers’ job prior to the end of the 2021 season, leaving a Notre Dame program that he helped build up over the course of a decade.

He left South Bend for Baton Rouge and didn’t take long to establish himself as one of the top coaches in the SEC. The Tigers won the SEC West and reached 10 victories in his first season at the helm.

That marked a big step forward for the Tigers, as they had won just 11 combined games over the previous 2 seasons at the end of Ed Orgeron’s tenure. 

Kelly has big expectations as he continues in his role as LSU’s head coach. The last 3 Tigers’ head coaches — Nick Saban, Les Miles and Orgeron — have all won the national championship. 

That’s one barrier that Kelly has yet to cross. Prior to arriving at LSU, Kelly helped produce historic seasons at Notre Dame and Cincinnati. 

The Fighting Irish reached the College Football Playoff twice during his 12 years atop the program. They also played in the BCS National Championship Game at the end of the 2012 season. 

Notre Dame won 10+ games in its final 5 seasons of Kelly’s tenure. That is the longest such streak of double-digit win campaigns in Notre Dame’s storied history. 

At Cincinnati, Kelly led the Bearcats to 3 straight double-digit win seasons. That stretch included a 12-0 regular season in 2009 that saw Cincy reach the Sugar Bowl. However, Kelly did not coach in that game because he had accepted the Notre Dame job. 

Kelly also spent 3 years as Central Michigan’s head coach prior to accepting the Cincinnati job. From 2004-06, he led CMU to a 19-16 overall record. In his final season with the Chippewas, they won 10 games — a mark they’ve beaten just once in the last 16 seasons. 

Prior to his time at CMU, Kelly was the head coach at Grand Valley State for 13 years. The Lakers won the Division II National Championship in each of Kelly’s final 2 seasons with the program. He finished with an overall record of 118-35-2 at Grand Valley State. 

Kelly has earned numerous accolades throughout his career. He’s a 2-time AP National Coach of the Year (2012 and 2018). He’s also a 3-time Home Depot National Coach of the Year (2009, 2012 and 2018). 

During his time at Cincinnati, Kelly won the Big East Coach of the Year award in all 3 of his full seasons with the Bearcats. He also won ACC Coach of the Year honors in 2020 when Notre Dame competed in the conference due to COVID-19. 

Kelly, 61, is originally from Everett, Massachusetts. He played linebacker at the Division II level for the Assumption Greyhounds. Assumption is also where he first coached in college football as he served as the program’s defensive coordinator and linebackers coach from 1983-86. 

Brian Kelly’s Coaching Experience

Head Coaching Record

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