After a tumultuous week for Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish got some good news: Brian Kelly will be staying on as their head coach, a source told CBS Saturday afternoon, with the school later making the news official.
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The 51-year-old Kelly, who led Notre Dame to a BCS title game last Monday, had interviewed for the Philadelphia Eagles head coaching vacancy on Tuesday, triggering increasing speculation about whether he'd leave South Bend for the NFL. The Irish lost the game Monday, 42-14 to Alabama, but were able to keep their coach.
Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said he was always confident Kelly would continue to lead the football program. Kelly is expected to receive a raise and an extension as well as a sweetened deal for the Fighting Irish football staff. Swarbrick told colleague Jeremy Fowler neither he nor the school were "leveraged" by the fact that the coach interviewed with the Eagles. Swarbrick also said that the new contract has "more work to do" and won't be done in the next few days or even weeks.
"I appreciate the Eagles reaching out to request permission to speak with Brian, and I also appreciate Brian keeping me fully informed throughout this process," Swarbrick said in a statement. "We all look forward to what's ahead for Notre Dame football."
Kelly is 28-11 in three seasons with the Fighting Irish and is trying to put the finishing touches on what many are ranking as the No. 1 recruiting class in the country.
"This week, I had an incredible opportunity to speak with one of the premier organizations in sports about becoming their head coach," Kelly said in a statement. "Like every kid who has ever put on a pair of football cleats, I have had thoughts about being a part of the NFL.
"However after much reflection and conversation with those closest to me, I have decided to remain at Notre Dame. This decision was motivated purely by my love for Notre Dame and the entire Fighting Irish community."
Kelly, who returned from the Bahamas earlier in the day, will be at the Walter Camp awards in Connecticut Saturday night.