Wake Up Call for Brian Kelly

There must be some part of Brian Kelly that is thinking, “what the hell was i doing taking this job?”. It’s a completely different situation to the one he inherited at Cincinnati.  At Cincinnati, Dantanio was hired away, not fired. At ND, Charlie Weis was fired. There is a huge difference between these situations. A coach being hired away means that the program he was at previously was on the way up. When a coach gets fired, it means that the program was not headed in the right direction.

The situation at Notre Dame that Brian Kelly found was completely different to the one he got at Cincinnati. This was a team that struggled with many important aspects of football. Their conditioning was very poor and this lead to many late game collapses.

The team also had serious problems with putting in the effort. As a member of the band, I had a pretty good view of the opposition’s sideline. Before and during the game, you could always see how fired up the other team was getting. They would be bouncing up and down and chanting, getting psyched up. This was in contrast to the Notre Dame sideline, which was basically a graveyard. There was no emotion, and this lead to no effort.

And the biggest problem that Brian Kelly is discovering is that a CULTURE OF LOSING had been developed at ND. Under the previous regime, losses were tolerated. There was a prevalence of self-generated feelings of being hard done by after losses. Blame was always assigned somewhere else, never to the players. There wasn’t the level of personal accountability every team needs to be succesful. Every player has to consciously make the decision they don’t want to lose. It’s this attitude that separates really great sportsmen from everyone else.

I am not sure that BK was aware of the state of the program he was taking over. He should be now, and if he can’t change the culture, his career will end just like Weis’.


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