football Edit

Brian Kelly's Lasting Power At Notre Dame

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Brian Kelly joins Clemson's Dabo Swinney and 14 other FBS coaches who are currently at least in their 10th year at the same school.
Brian Kelly joins Clemson's Dabo Swinney and 14 other FBS coaches who are currently at least in their 10th year at the same school. (

Yesterday we featured national college football writer Dennis Dodd’s (CBSSports) annual “Hot Seat” ratings among the 130 Football Bowl Subdivision coaches.

Although Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly was not categorized as one of the 12 “untouchables” — which earns a 0 rating — he did receive a 1 as an individual who is “safe and secure.” That was a far cry from the 2017 preseason, when Kelly and then Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin (now at Arizona) were the only two in the FBS to receive the highest ranking (5) for hottest seat.

Two summers later, Kelly is now among a group of “Sweet 16” head coaches who have reached their 10th season at the same school. Here is the chronological breakdown.

Kirk Ferentz ( Iowa) — 21 years

Record: 152-101 (.601)

Has had five top-10 finishes, most recently in 2015. Reportedly the Irish expressed interest in 2009.

Gary Patterson (TCU) — 20 years

Record: 167-63 (.726)

Six top-10 finishes, the highest at No. 2 in 2010, and the most recent in 2017.

Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State)— 15 years

Record: 121-59 (.672)

Has won a minimum of 10 games six of the last nine years, highlighted by the 12-1 and No. 3 finish in 2011.

Frank Solich (Ohio) — 15 years

Record: 106-75 (.586)

Ousted at Nebraska with a 58-19 record, he has found coaching peace in the MAC.

Kyle Whittingham (Utah)— 15 years

Record: 120-61 (.663)

Urban Meyer’s successor has done superb work, highlighted by a No. 2 finish in 2008 and a glittering 11-2 ledger in bowl games.

Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern) — 14 years

Record: 96-70 (.578)

An “untouchable” who has his team consistently overachieve, with four top 25 finishes since 2012.

Rick Stockstill (Middle Tennessee) — 14 years

Record: 87-78 (.527)

Former FSU quarterback has led Blue Raiders to four straight bowls.

Ken Niumatalolo (Navy) — 13 years

Record: 87-58 (.600)

Led Midshipmen to nine bowls and 11-2 mark and No. 18 finish in 2015, their highest in the AP poll since 1963.

Mark Dantonio (Michigan State) — 13 years

Record: 107-51 (.677)

Six times led Spartans to 10 to 13 wins, highlighted by three top-6 finishes and the 2015 playoff.

Troy Calhoun (Air Force) — 13 years

Record: 87-67 (.565)

Graduate of Academy led Falcons to nine bowls in first 10 years, but only 5-7 each of the last two.

Nick Saban (Alabama) — 13 years

Record: 141-20 (.876)

All-time titan figure has won five of the last 10 national titles with the Crimson Tide.

Dabo Swinney (Clemson) — 12 years

Record: 116-30 (.795)

Won two of last three national titles while challenging Alabama as college football’s top program.

David Cutcliffe (Duke) — 12 years

Record: 67-72 (.482)

Miracle worker turned around worst Power 5 Conference team in the last decade.

Bobby Wilder (Old Dominion) — 11 years

Record: 76-45 (.628)

Only 4-8 last year, but did stun Virginia Tech in an upset.

Brian Kelly (Notre Dame) — 10 years

Record: 81-35 (.698), although the NCAA with 21 vacated wins lists it at 60-34 (.638)

Appears to be in peak form after 22-4 mark past two years and a CFP berth last season.

Doc Holliday (Marshall) — 10 years

Record: 70-46 (.603)

He is 6-0 in bowl games.


Talk about it inside Rockne’s Roundtable

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