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December 10, 2009

Kelly next Notre Dame head coach

Brian Kelly is the new Notre Dame head football coach.

Kelly, 48, who led Cincinnati to a 33-6 record in three seasons, including back-to-back BCS bids in 2008-09, reportedly signed with the Irish Wednesday evening and then told his Bearcat players the news Thursday afternoon.

The team's football banquet, scheduled for 5 p.m. ET, was closed to the media in a decision announced Thursday afternoon.

Kelly becomes the fifth Notre Dame head football coach since Lou Holtz's 11th and final season with the Irish in 1996.

Kelly, an Everett, Mass., native, has a 53-22 career record in six years as a FBS head coach, including a stop at Central Michigan from 2004-06. Prior to that, he accumulated a 118-35-2 mark in 13 seasons as head coach at Division II Grand Valley State.

There has been no official word on his coaching staff with the Irish, although both Bearcat coordinators-Jeff Quinn, who also doubles as offensive line coach, and Bob Diaco, who coaches linebackers-are expected to join Kelly at Notre Dame.

Other Bearcat coaches expected to come to Notre Dame are defensive line coach Mike Elston, quarterbacks coach Greg Forest, and strength & conditioning coach Paul Longo.

Tony Alford, who coached running backs for the Irish in 2009, is a candidate to remain on the staff under Kelly, although he also is a candidate for the running backs job at Florida.

Receivers coach Rob Ianello, who was placed in charge of Notre Dame's operations following the firing of Charlie Weis, accepted the head coaching position at Akron University Thursday.

Kelly attended St. John's Prep in Danvers, Mass., and was a four-year letter-winning linebacker at Assumption College. He and his wife, Paqui, are the parents of three children-Patrick, Grace and Kenzel.

Kelly could be introduced as the next head coach at Notre Dame as early as Friday morning.


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