Brian Kelly touts LSU’s investment in football after tired of waiting for Notre Dame’s update

Baton Rouge, Los Angeles – Like all good coaches, Brian Kelly knows what lies ahead. The college football world has wanted a definitive answer for some time now as to why the former Notre Dame coach changed jobs, cultures, and accents to take on the new LSU coach.

“The million dollar question, right?” Kelly told a visitor. It only took 3 minutes [to ask]? ”

In fact, 6 minutes of conversation have passed. You want to smooth out difficult inquiries with a subject like Kelly, although he was happy to oblige him to do so.

“Did you walk downstairs and see the training table?” He asks from his office on the second floor.

Definitely. You can’t miss design by Executive Chef Michael Johnson in the basement of the LSU Football Operations building. Johnson is so talented and so dedicated that he travels days ahead of time to road games as a kind of culinary quality control coach. Johnson once encountered undercooked chicken that had been prepared in a group hotel. With it being the most competitive Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), he wasn’t sure it was an accident.

“Have you entered the Gug?” Kelly continued, pointing to the Guglielmino Notre Dame athletics complex. “There’s no training table. We get food from the cafeteria. You get a lunch bag, and a lunch box.”

Kelly is not finished.

“This building was built not to serve those areas. That wasn’t the vision the university had. I don’t have a problem with that. They built that building for the concourse and the locker and that’s it. We got over that. I asked to address that in 2016, and we were in 2022.”

In the end, Kelly walked out the door. It would be simplistic to say the best coach at Notre Dame pulled out due to a lack of complex carbs, but he’s the one who makes the points. LSU has the best of everything – like Notre Dame, but in a different way.

After 12 years, maybe it’s time to try a different “best”. It is fair to say that Kelly was philosophically separated from his superiors at Notre Dame. Whatever the case, it’s the process that makes his exodus here one of the best off-season stories.

“We were in a different place,” Kelly said. “I don’t blame anyone. We were in a different place as to what I thought the next step was [should be] After five consecutive seasons winning over 10″.

“I have another run in me,” the coach added. “Shall I wait another four years [for my requests to be addressed]Or, are we running into this? ”

After winning 113 games over his 12 years leading the Irish program, it only took 10 days for Kelly to say “yes” to LSU. On November 22, 2021, Kelly said it would take a “fairy godmother [who] He comes with a $250 million check” to get him out of South Bend, Indiana. It was presented at LSU on December 2 for a 10-year deal worth $95 million. About 70% of it is guaranteed.

Kelly may not have been the first choice. LSU is said to have offered Jimbo Fisher of Texas A&M $13 million a year. Lincoln Riley’s name was also mentioned before the former Oklahoma coach pulled out to help revive the USC program. But when it became clear that Kelly was interested, LSU athletic director Scott Woodward jumped in. The couple have a history as Woodward interviewed Kelly in Washington 14 years before Steve Sarkissian was hired.

“His high IQ, very organized, he won everywhere he was,” Woodward said. “When I found out I had shot him, I got really serious and fast.”

Soon thereafter, it became “BK Unplugged” – half untied by any restrictions that were in Notre Dame, half assimilated into Louisiana’s unique culture.

“Notre Dame is a little upside down,” said the 60-year-old coach.

It looks that way when the new guy dances with a tight end recruit. He. She he is That way when a coach’s introduction to a basketball game goes viral the way he pronounces “family.”

“It wasn’t made up,” Woodward said.

“I had no idea I was speaking with a Southern accent,” Kelly said.

But don’t miss the coach immersed in the transition from studs to party.

“Content is the new arms race for everything. It’s buying,” said Emily Dixon, executive director of creative content at LSU. “He was open to everything.”

“Here, the kids want you to be a part of it,” Kelly said. “When they say, ‘Hey coach, come on.'” How many times can you say no to a child before they say, ‘It’s not cool. He keeps saying no to me.”

Suddenly, a Massachusetts native arrives via a midwestern religious major to seize the power of the SEC.

Go ahead and ask if Kelly is driving out of his lane in the Deep South because, frankly, he doesn’t care. Consider: It took less than 1 season for son Ed Orgeron to go from undefeated National Champion to unemployed National Champion coach.

“I wish I could kind of cover it up and say, ‘This is a cultural forest,'” Kelly said of his assimilation as Orgeron’s replacement, but there’s nothing to talk about.

“There is nothing green in your diet here,” he added. “Vegetables are an afterthought. Everything else is étouffée and red beans and rice. Love it. Food is great…People are friendly and down to earth. They love soccer. It’s Catholic. There’s a quaint catholic church on every street corner.

“Everyone was like, ‘Oh how about moving on?'” “Maybe it was more difficult in South Bend than it was [go to] Baton Rouge. You are getting into a situation where you know why you are here. You are here to win a national championship and play in the American Eastern League.”

Major League Baseball reference is a comparison with SEC West – the strongest division in the sport. In these parts, a 10-win season just isn’t good enough, and Kelly – who never attended a rowdy night game at Tiger Stadium – will soon find out.

Kelly has brought in 42 new employees since his arrival. They are linked together by Teamworks, a software operating system that helps sports departments organize and communicate. It is the university standard. Kelly says when he got there there were two schools not using Teamworks: Wake Forest and LSU.

“They were communicating here like an old-fashioned piece of paper,” he said. “It took me a good two weeks to learn the operating systems here. A lot of it started with Nick [Saban] And it never changed much.”

Saban took charge at LSU in 2000 and quickly demonstrated what could be accomplished in what was then just an average SEC. Saban put up a fake recruiting fence around the state and won the National Championship three years later. Les Miles followed up with his own national title in 2007, making Orgeron 3-for-3 among LSU coaches in the 21st century with the record-breaking Tigers in 2019.

Kelly spoke extensively with Saban before and after making the move for advice.

“It was like, ‘You’re going to be crazy if you don’t take it,'” Kelly said.

“It starts with being able to recruit within 3 hours of campus,” he added. “The facilities are great, but you can spoil the facilities. If you understand Louisiana and how to recruit these guys, you win here at LSU. Every one of these coaches did that.”

Forget the utilities. The biggest reason Kelly accepted the SEC transfer is that it provides better access to the college football game. He wouldn’t say it out loud, but Notre Dame had to go 12-0 to get to CFP to play as a freelancer without a conference championship match. The SEC’s access to the tournament is still the best because it previously featured multiple teams in BCS Championship games and College Football Playoff.

Alabama and Georgia topped the CFP National for only the second time last season. SEC teams have finished nine of 14 places in the last seven matches for the national title.

This sends a clear message that you don’t need to win your conference to play for it all. That’s secondary to the LSU fans who watched their Tigers finish in a final tie at SEC West for the first time since 1999.

Buzzwords surrounding Kelly’s hiring include “structure” and “accountability.” LSU has fallen off the map a bit, but Kelly knows how to build the program. He brought with him from Notre Dame a ‘SWAT’ program that awards points for things like on-time meetings, proper meal plans, etc.

Before settling into his new position, Kelly tried to bring in Notre Dame coordinators: Marcus Freeman (defense) and Tommy Reese (offensive). In the end, they both stayed. Balancing that week’s ND elimination show with the damage from the extended hunt, Fighting Irish AD Jack Swarbrick promoted Freeman as Kelly’s successor.

“I needed 19 years of head coaching experience to be able to get my first two years at Notre Dame,” Kelly joked about his 16-10 start in his first two years with the Irish. “There will be some difficult points [for Freeman]. he is smart. He will lean on the people around him.”

While Kelly may have swapped out his lunches for shrimp gumbo at the training table, he’s also traded in to get more pressure. The faithful at LSU expect to compete for the National Championships, and that means beating Alabama, Texas A&M and Auburn just for a place in the SEC Championship game.

This must be honeymoon season. After attrition — academic ineligibility, transfers, injuries, disqualification and graduation — Kelly says he’s down to 36 players on scholarship. This is why he hit the carriage gate like a little boy hitting the bars at closing time.

247 Sports has the Tigers ranked third nationally in the transfer portal rankings. That includes bringing back Miles Brennan—the often injured, year-sixth quarterback who entered the gate but chose to stay—and Arizona State transfer Jaden Daniels.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, Kelly is working on the new. He took the time to tweet a mini bio of every tiger caught up in the most recent recruiting class. It’s refreshing that he could wrap 85% of his recruiting class in a car.

“At Notre Dame I was on a plane for four weeks,” Kelly explained. “I had to go to every state and pull their best player out of their major high school. When I went to California, I had to defeat USC or UCLA. When I went to Texas, I had to defeat Texas or A&M. When I went to Florida, I had to defeat Miami.

“Here, they grow up loving LSU. What Nick put in here Nick put in here.”

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