Brian Kelly '83

Brian Kelly ’83

With an exclusive contract with NBC to televise home games and 11 national championships, the University of Notre Dame football program is one of the most prestigious and well known in college sports. Brian Kelly ’83 was appointed head football coach at the University of Notre Dame in December 2009. He led the Fighting Irish to an 8-5 finish in 2010, including a win over the University of Miami in the Sun Bowl.

Kelly earned the 2009 ESPN Home Depot National Coach of the Year Award and his third consecutive Big East Conference Coach of the Year Award (the first coach to do so) after leading the University of Cincinnati football team to its first undefeated regular season. The Bearcats finished 12-0, won its second straight Big East Championship, its second consecutive appearance in a Bowl Championship Series game and a #3 BCS ranking. In three years at Cincinnati , Kelly compiled a 34-6 record, including three consecutive seasons of 10 or more victories and three Top 20 finishes in the national polls. Prior to his arrival, Cincinnati had one season of 10 wins or more in its 121-year history.

Kelly’s career began as an assistant football and head softball coach at Assumption (1984–87). Former Assumption football coach Bernie Gaughan helped Kelly land a graduate assistant position at Grand Valley State (MI), where Kelly was an assistant coach for four years before serving a 13-year tenure as head coach. There he amassed a 118-35-2 record and won two NCAA Division II national championships in 2002 and 2003. He then accepted an NCAA Division I coaching job at Central Michigan , where in three seasons he turned a perennial losing team into a conference champion in 2006. His success led him to the opportunity at Cincinnati.

A 2006 inductee to the Assumption Alumni-Athletics Hall of Fame, Kelly has compiled a winning record in 18 of his 19 seasons as a head football coach and an overall record of 171-57-2 (.747). He and wife Paqui have three children – Patrick, Grace and Kenzel.

Last updated 7/7/11