New LSU football coach Brian Kelly gestures to fans after his arrival at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La. Kelly, formerly of Notre Dame, is said to have agreed to a 10-year contract with LSU worth $95 million plus incentives. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

Brian Kelly “can make a significant difference” at LSU

Brian Kelly parted ways with the No. 6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Monday after 12 seasons. The 60-year-old traveled to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, taking over as head coach of Louisiana State University. As a result, he secured a 10-year, $95 million deal.

The big move

The Massachusetts native arrived in South Bend, Indiana, in 2010. Because of that, Kelly said the decision to leave the top ten team failed to be easy.

He said the decision was ultimately his choice, even though he loves his former players.

“It’s 100% my decision,” Kelly said. “I believe that I can make a significant difference here.”

Success at Notre Dame

The former navy blue and gold coach is the winningest coach in program history. During his tenure, the team was 113-40. Though the record doesn’t include the 21 NCAA vacated wins from the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

Under Kelly, the squad competed in the Bowl Champion Series National Championship Game in 2012. It also appeared in the playoffs in 2018 and 2020.

Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said Kelly “did a marvelous job” in restoring Notre Dame’s football program — though he said he’s not surprised the former head coach departed from Indiana. However, according to Kelly, the transition held another narrative.

Big plans ahead for Kelly

However, the new ball coach holds high standards for the struggling LSU Tiger team. He said it’s an incredible opportunity.

Kelly said he’s all for excellence on and off the field.

Additionally, LSU Athletic Director Scott Woodward said Kelly fits the Tiger culture and is there to transform it.

“He’s not just here to win; he’s here to win championships,” he said. On the other hand, Kelly said joining the Southeastern Conference poses a challenge, but he’s excited about the opportunity.

The 34th head football coach in LSU program history hopes to follow in former head coach Ed Orgeron’s footsteps. After all, the goal is to bring another national championship trophy to Baton Rouge.

“Our family is going to immerse ourselves into the culture of Louisiana. We’re not here to change anything. We’re here to get changed by it.”

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