Notre Dame's Brian Kelly became the winningest coach in program history Saturday after his No. 12 Fighting Irish topped No. 18 Wisconsin 41-13 at Soldier Field in Chicago on Saturday afternoon. Kelly not only continued his quest for a second straight College Football Playoff appearance, but etched his name in stone in program history.
The victory was Kelly's 106th of his career at Notre Dame, breaking the previous record of 105 victories set by legendary coach and 1951 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Knute Rockne.
Kelly came to Notre Dame prior to the 2010 season after four successful years at Cincinnati. Since then, he has posted six double-digit win seasons, including four in a row, while leading his team to the College Football Playoff twice and finishing ranked in the AP Top 25 seven times.
He eclipsed Rockne's mark, which was set over 13 years from 1918-30. During that span, Rockne won three national championships, posted five undefeated seasons and finished his career with a 105-12-5 record at Notre Dame.
"Obviously, it's been about consistency -- having great coaches and great players," Kelly said after the game. "... The journey is much more important than the wins."
Here's a look at how the two coaches stack up by the numbers.
|Coach||Years at Notre Dame||Wins||National titles||Double-digit wins seasons||Bowl record|
|Brian Kelly||12 (2010-present)||106||0||6||5-5|
The record-breaking game for Kelly wasn't without stress, however. The Fighting Irish struggled to get things going on offense and quarterback Jack Coan, who transferred from Wisconsin prior to the 2021 season, was knocked out of the game in the third quarter. Coan was replaced by Drew Pyne, who completed 6-of-8 passes for 81 yards and a touchdown. The Fighting Irish pulled away in the fourth quarter in an impressive second-half showing thanks largely due to a pair of back-to-back pick-sixes.
The win moves Kelly's all-time record at Grand Valley State, Central Michigan, Cincinnati and Notre Dame to 277-96-2.