On the Saturday before the 2013 BCS National Championship game, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly was asked about the chances of him ever jumping ship and heading to the NFL. In perceived disgust, Kelly replied that leaving the Fighting Irish “is not an option, I don’t even think about it.”
How quickly things change.
Only 72 hours later, his Golden Domers had been crushed by Alabama in front of millions, 42-14, and all of a sudden another job was not looking so bad.
Literally, the day after his team’s drubbing at the hands of the Crimson Tide, it was confirmed by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that Kelly had interviewed for the open head coaching position for the Philadelphia Eagles.
On Wednesday, Kelly left the country, and was thus not available for comment. However, Mortensen’s sources are reporting that there was mutual interest between the two parties. Further, Kelly and the Eagles’ brass had already made plans to revisit talks when he returns in a mere few days’ time.
Kelly has a 28-11 record in his three seasons at the helm of the historically dominant football program. After inheriting a team in disarray, Kelly pulled off a seemingly miracle turnaround in leading the Irish to a perfect 12-0 record in his third season and nearly led the once-proud program to its first national title since 1988.
This is Kelly’s fourth collegiate head coaching stint, and each has been a bigger job than the last. Kelly won two D-II national championships at Grand Valley State University before accepting the head coaching position at Central Michigan. The Chippewas had only won more than three games once in the four seasons prior to Kelly’s arrival, and Kelly turned in a 9-4 record and a MAC title in his third season.
He then left to head up Cincinnati, where he led the Bearcats to two BCS bowl games before taking over at Notre Dame.
He also told reporters on Saturday that Notre Dame was his dream job.
“I think from my perspective I’ve got the best job in the country, NFL, college, high school, whatever,” Kelly said Saturday. “I just look at the place that I’m at and thankful for the opportunity that I have.”
But sometimes, things change — and quickly.