SOUTH BEND IN - SEPTEMBER 25: Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish watches as his team takes on the Stanford Cardinal at Notre Dame Stadium on September 25 2010 in South Bend Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Brian Kelly is a damn good football coach. Here is his general stat line from 2005-10 (i.e. the "we have play-by-play for it" era:
Here's some comparison data:
Central Michigan Averages
- With Kelly (2005-06): 8-5 (68th F/+)
- Without Kelly (2007-10): 8-5 (71st F/+)
Okay, so no major differences there, though it's easy to point out that Kelly brought Dan LeFevour to the program, and when LeFevour left, the Chippewas went 3-9.
- With Kelly (2007-09): 11-2 (19th F/+)
- Without Kelly (2005-06, 2010): 5-7 (61st F/+)
Mark Dantonio went 8-5 with the Bearcats the year before Kelly got there, so the cupboard certainly wasn't bare, but he still did very, very good things in Cincy.
Notre Dame Averages
- With Kelly (2010): 8-5 (17th F/+)
- Without Kelly (2005-09): 7-5 (40th F/+)
Once again, Kelly has inherited a program with a rather well-stocked cupboard, but over the second half of last season we began to see what he can do, and it was impressive.
From a pure results perspective, it is difficult to dislike what Brian Kelly has done in his career. (He won 118 games and two Division II national titles in 13 seasons at Grand Valley State just as a warm-up. But he seems to get more out of a program's personnel than others, and Charlie Weis left him with a pretty nice set of personnel in South Bend.