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LSU hires Brian Kelly away from Notre Dame to be Tigers next coach

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly watches during warmups before a game against Navy.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly watches during warmups before a game against Navy in South Bend, Ind., on Nov. 6.
(Paul Sancya / Associated Press)

LSU is hiring Brian Kelly away from Notre Dame, a stunning move by one of the most accomplished coaches in college football jumping from the sport’s most storied program to a Southeastern Conference powerhouse.

A person familiar with the decision told the Associated Press on Monday night that Kelly was leaving Notre Dame for LSU. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because neither school was prepared to make an official announcement. Yahoo Sports first reported the move.

It was the second bombshell in college football in as many days, coming a little more than 24 hours after USC lured Lincoln Riley away from Oklahoma.

The 60-year Kelly became the winningest coach in Notre Dame history earlier this season, surpassing Knute Rockne. In 12 seasons with the Fighting Irish, Kelly is 113-40, including the current run of five straight double-digit victory seasons.

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Notre Dame just completed an 11-1 season on Saturday and still is in contention to reach the College Football Playoff for the third time in the last four years.

LSU’s coaching search started in October, when it reached an agreement to part ways with coach Ed Orgeron at the end of the season. The change came less than two years after Orgeron led the Tigers to a national championship.

USC shocked the college football world by luring Lincoln Riley away from Oklahoma. We break down the pros and the few cons of the Trojans’ big hire.

The Tigers finished a 6-6 season on Saturday, upsetting Texas A&M at home in Orgeron’s last game.

Riley was one of the hottest commodities in college football over five years, leading the Sooners to three playoff appearances. He was being introduced at USC at roughly the same time when news of the LSU hire began to circulate.

Kelly is agreeing to take over the Tigers just a few weeks after he had publicly dismissed the idea of moving on when asked about possibly being a candidate at USC.

“No. I mean, look, I think Mike Tomlin had the best line, right?” Kelly told reporters, referring to the Pittsburgh Steelers coach. “Unless that fairy godmother comes by with that $250 million check, my wife would want to take a look at it first. I’d have to run it by her.”


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