|Notre Dame LB Manti Te'o captured the Nagurski and Butkus Awards earlier this week. Te'o is a Heisman finalist. (AP)|
Kelly, the Irish third-year coach, was named the 2012 Home Depot Coach of the Year -- marking the second time in four years he's received the prestigious honor. Kelly became the first coach ever to win the award twice.
In 2009, Kelly led the University of Cincinnati to a 12-0 record and a No. 3 ranking in the Bowl Championship Series. On the same day Kelly was recognized as national coach of the year, the former Bearcats' coach was hired as the 29th head coach in Notre Dame school history.
Eifert became the first tight end in school history to win the John Mackey Award, given annually to the nation's top tight end. The 6-6, 251 pound senior leads the Irish in receptions with 44 and receiving yards with 624. In a 38-0 win over Wake Forest, Eifert became the program's all-time leader in receptions among tight ends. Eifert was also a finalist for the Mackey Award last season.
The announcements came two days after LB Manti Te'o opened a busy week by capturing the Bronko Nagurski and Dick Butkus Awards. Te'o defeated South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney, Georgia LB Jarvis Jones, Florida State DE Bjoern Werner and Alabama CB Dee Milliner to win the Nagurski Award, given annually to the nation's top defensive player.
Te'o also spoke with Butkus, a Hall of Fame linebacker, after he won the award given to the nation's top linebacker. Te'o has been invited to New York City as one of three finalists for the Heisman Trophy. The winner will be announced on Saturday night at a ceremony from the Best Buy Theater in Times Square.
"Hey, all these awards are great, but football is a team sport," Te'o said. "If you ask people who the Butkus Award or the Bednarik Award winners are, or even the Heisman Trophy winner some years, they probably don't remember them. But they remember who won the national championship. They remember that. That's the trophy everybody wants."
On Tuesday, defensive coordinator Bob Diaco won the Frank Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant coach. Diaco leads a defense that ranks among the top 21 in FBS in 17 different categories. The Irish lead the nation in scoring defense (10.33), percentage of Red-Zone TDs allowed (24.24), rushing touchdowns allowed (two), and passing yards allowed per completion (9.7).
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