Just over a day after it was revealed that Lincoln Riley would depart Oklahoma for USC, a second major domino in the 2021 coaching carousel fell on Monday evening. Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly will reportedly leave the Fighting Irish to become the new head coach at LSU.
Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel first broke the shocking news on Monday night. He reported that an official announcement from LSU could come as early as Tuesday.
A report from The Athletic on Monday afternoon first connected Kelly and the Tigers, sharing that LSU was “aggressively” targeting the Notre Dame head coach after Lincoln Riley filled the USC vacancy on Sunday.
The SEC program will settle for one of the winningest coaches in all of college football over the last five years.
Sources: LSU is expecting to hire Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly as the school’s next head coach. An announcement could come as early as tomorrow.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) November 30, 2021
Kelly has been with Notre Dame since 2010 where he’s been able to turn the Fighting Irish back into a national powerhouse. He recently led the program College Football Playoff in 2018 and 2020, in addition to making a BCS National Championship Game appearance in 2012.
Kelly posted a 92-39 record in his 12 seasons at Notre Dame–113-40 if you don’t count the wins that were vacated. In 2021, the Fighting Irish are 11-1 and just a need a little of help to make the College Football Playoff for the third time in four years.
Given all of Kelly’s success in South Bend over the last decade, the college football world was stunned to see the report of his departure for LSU on Monday. When compounded with Riley heading to USC, fans and media members couldn’t get over how crazy this hiring cycle has become.
My god. This has been surreal. https://t.co/0X3AobBz1V
— Adam Kramer (@KegsnEggs) November 30, 2021
Was told this afternoon that we should know about Brian Kelly-LSU within 48 hours. BK has been on the road, ostensibly recruiting. https://t.co/DAuUooDVzm
— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) November 30, 2021
The cities of Cincinnati and Ames are sending police to lock down their airports and roads immediately https://t.co/WwFSqM5ASi
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) November 30, 2021
Yooooo what’s going on!? https://t.co/egXRoeSiPh
— quincy_avery (@Quincy_Avery) November 30, 2021
So if they make the playoffs … then what? https://t.co/4b4kpNjNfV
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) November 30, 2021
Top-5 Coach 🤝 Top-5 Job https://t.co/sq5mmEkMjp
— Greg McElroy (@GregMcElroy) November 30, 2021
Good lawd! https://t.co/80JqXld516
— Damien Woody (@damienwoody) November 30, 2021
Well it’s official, the CFB carousel is drunk. https://t.co/vmwr30JBzm
— Seth Emerson (@SethWEmerson) November 30, 2021
— Kelsey Riggs (@kelseyriggs) November 30, 2021
Kelly will be tasked with turning things at LSU around quickly if he is indeed set to take over the Tigers in 2022. Athletic director Scott Woodward announced in October former head coach Ed Orgeron would not return after this year, just two seasons after he won a national championship with the program.
LSU has shown that it won’t settle for mediocre, so time will tell if Kelly is up for the task of bringing the Tigers back to the top of the mountain.