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Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly leaving for LSU after 12 seasons

Brian Kelly
Jed Jacobsohn/AP
FR170650 AP
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly, center, runs onto the field for the team's NCAA college football game against Stanford in Stanford, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

University of Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly is being hired away by Louisiana State University. Kelly became the winningest coach in Notre Dame history earlier this year, surpassing Knute Rockne.

Over his 12 seasons leading the Fighting Irish, Kelly is 113-40 but has not yet been able to bring home a national championship.

Notre Dame just completed an 11-1 season on Saturday and is now in the running for the playoffs for the third time in the past four years.

Kelly’s current contract ran through 2024. The news of the move comes just a few weeks after he publicly dismissed the idea, invoking Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.

“Tomlin had the best line, right?” Kelly said. “Unless that fairy godmother comes by with that 250-million-dollar check, my wife would want to take a look at it first. I’d have to run it by her.”

A person familiar with the decision told the Associated Press Monday night about the move, which Yahoo! Sports first reported.

Kelly’s Twitter bio now says he is the head coach of LSU football, and LSU officially confirmed the hire Tuesday morning. The Tigers finished a 6 and 6 season on Saturday.

Pete Sampson, the Notre Dame beat reporter for sports publication The Athletic, posted a screenshot on Twitter of a message Kelly sent to the Fighting Irish roster on Teamworks late Monday night.

In it, Kelly says that he “will be leaving Notre Dame” and will be meeting with the team Tuesday at 7 a.m. to share more details

Kelly met with the team for about 11 minutes Tuesday morning and departed for Baton Rouge shortly thereafter.

Reportedly, LSU offered Kelly a 10-year deal of over $100 million with incentives.

No interim or replacement coach has been announced, but likely candidates may include current Fighting Irish defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman, Iowa State’s Matt Campbell and Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell.

This story has been updated.

Contact Jakob at or follow him on Twitter at @JakobLazzaro.