Brian Kelly Season 2023
When Brian Kelly was hired away from Notre Dame in December of 2021, LSU announced at the time that “the search for LSU Football’s next championship head coach is over.”
The most accomplished hire in program history, Kelly wasted little time in making his impact felt, leading the Tigers to a 10-win season and the SEC Western Division title. Despite inheriting a roster with only 39 scholarship players remaining from the 2021 season, Kelly guided the Tigers to Top 10 wins over Ole Miss and Alabama along with road victories over Auburn, Florida and Arkansas.
The Tigers capped the season with a resounding 63-7 win over Purdue in the Citrus Bowl completing one of the biggest turnarounds in college football a year ago.
Kelly, who has more victories than any active coach in major college football, was named LSU’s 34th head football coach on December 1, taking over a program that has won four national championships.
Kelly’s 10 wins at LSU in 2022 ran his career win total to 294 in 32 years as a head coach and it marked the 11th time he led a team to 10 or more wins in a season at the FBS level. Overall, Kelly has had teams reach double-figure wins 17 times with his teams winning nine games on five other occasions. His coaching career includes 13 seasons at Grand Valley State, three at Central Michigan, four at Cincinnati, 12 at Notre Dame and one at LSU.
His overall mark of 294-101-2 puts him ahead of Alabama’s Nick Saban (285) and North Carolina’s Mack Brown (268) on the list of most victories by an active FBS head coach. Only twice during Kelly’s 32-year coaching career has he had a team finish below .500.
Kelly is also one of only five active FBS coaches who have guided their programs to multiple undefeated regular seasons since 2009 and he’s led teams to one berth in the BCS National Championship Game and to a pair of College Football Playoff appearances. Overall, his teams have appeared in bowl games 14 times.
Prior to taking over at LSU in 2022, Kelly spent 12 years as the head coach at Notre Dame where he became the school’s winningest coach with 113 victories, moving past legendary Knute Rockne for the top spot on the list. Kelly left Notre Dame with a 113-40 overall mark and his teams averaged 10 wins a season over his last five years – 54-9 during that span – with Irish.
During his Notre Dame career, Kelly led the Irish to the 2012 BCS national title game as well as College Football Playoff appearances in 2018 and 2020. He was named National Coach of the Year by numerous outlets in 2012 and 2018. He’s the only coach to win the Home Depot Coach of the Year Award more than once, and he’s done it three times (2009, 2012, and 2018).
In 12 seasons at Notre Dame, Kelly’s teams won at least 10 games seven times, including 2021, as the Irish posted an 11-1 mark and were ranked as high as No. 5 in the nation during his final season in South Bend. Kelly’s final five seasons at Notre Dame saw the Irish win at least 10 games each year, including a 12-1 mark in 2018 and 11-2 in 2019.
Individually, Notre Dame players claimed eight consensus All-America honors playing for Kelly, while the Irish had players win nine national awards during that span. Kelly’s Notre Dame teams produced 55 NFL Draft picks since 2012, including 10 in the first round.
Academically under Kelly, the Irish had eight players earn the prestigious CoSIDA Academic All-America honor, and three were selected as National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes. As a team, Notre Dame consistently ranked among the nation’s top four in the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate.
Prior to joining the Irish, Kelly transformed Cincinnati into a football powerhouse, winning Big East titles in 2008 and 2009. In three years at Cincinnati, the Bearcats won 34 games and appeared in the Orange and Sugar Bowls. In 2007, Kelly led Cincinnati to the school’s first-ever 10-win season with a 10-3 mark and a win in the PapaJohns.com Bowl. In his final season at Cincinnati, Kelly’s team posted a 12-0 regular season mark and earned a berth to the Sugar Bowl.
Kelly’s first Division I head coaching position came in 2004 when he took over at Central Michigan. In three years with the Chippewas, Kelly’s teams won 19 games, claimed the Mid-American Conference title in 2006 and appeared in a bowl game for the first time in 12 years.
Kelly’s first head coaching job came at Division II Grand Valley State in 1991, a position he held for 13 years. In 13 years at Grand Valley, Kelly won 118 games, won five straight conference titles and made six Division II playoff appearances. He led the Lakers to back-to-back national titles in 2002 and 2003, going 14-0 and 14-1, respectively. He won 41 games during his final three years in Allendale.
A native of Everett, Mass., Kelly was a four-year letterwinner at linebacker and two-time team captain at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass. He graduated from Assumption in 1983 with a degree in political science.
Kelly and his wife Paqui have three children – Patrick, Grace and Kenzel. The Kellys are active in community outreach and have established the Kelly Cares Foundation which has donated nearly $8 million to support causes related to the fight against breast cancer since its founding in 2008.
Brian Kelly accolades
• SEC Western Division Champion (2022)
• College Football Playoff Appearance (2018, 2020)
• BCS National Championship Game Appearance (2012)
• NCAA Division II National Champion (2002, 2003)
• Home Depot National Coach of the Year (2009, 2012, 2018)
• AP College Football Coach of the Year (2012, 2018)
• Walter Camp Coach of the Year (2012)
• Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year (2012)
• AFCA Division II Coach of the Year (2002, 2003)
• Big East Coach of the Year (2007, 2008, 2009)
• MAC Conference Champion (2006)
• Big East Conference Champion (2008, 2009)
• Winningest Coach in Notre Dame history
Brian Kelly's Coaching Record
|Grand Valley St.||NCAA Division II||MIFC/GLIAC|
|1991||Grand Valley State||9–3||8–2||T–2nd||NCAA Division II First Round|
|1992||Grand Valley State||8–3||8–2||T–1st|
|1993||Grand Valley State||6–3–2||6–2–2||3rd|
|1994||Grand Valley State||8–4||8–2||2nd||NCAA Division II First Round|
|1995||Grand Valley State||8–3||8–2||2nd|
|1996||Grand Valley State||8–3||8–2||2nd|
|1997||Grand Valley State||9–2||9–1||T–1st|
|1998||Grand Valley State||9–3||9–1||1st||NCAA Division II First Round|
|1999||Grand Valley State||5–5||5–4||7th|
|2000||Grand Valley State||7–4||7–3||3rd|
|2001||Grand Valley State||13–1||9–0||1st||NCAA Division II Championship|
|2002||Grand Valley State||14–0||9–0||1st||NCAA Division II Championship|
|2003||Grand Valley State||14–1||9–1||2nd||NCAA Division II Championship|
|2004||Central Michigan||4–7||3–5||5th (West)|
|2005||Central Michigan||6–5||5–3||4th (West)|
|2006||Central Michigan||9–4||7–1||1st (West)||Motor City (did not coach)|
|2006||Cincinnati||1–0||0–0||International (def. Western Michigan, 27-24)|
|2007||Cincinnati||10–3||4–3||3rd||Papajohns.com (def. Southern Miss, 31-21)|
|2008||Cincinnati||11–3||6–1||1st||Orange (lost to Virginia Tech, 20-7)|
|2009||Cincinnati||12–0||7–0||1st||Sugar (did not coach)|
|2010||Notre Dame||8–5||Sun (def. Miami, 33-17)|
|2011||Notre Dame||8–5||Champs Sports (lost to Florida St., 18-14)|
|2012||Notre Dame||12–1 *||BCS National Championship Game (vacated; lost to Alabama, 42-14)|
|2013||Notre Dame||9–4 *||Pinstripe (vacated; def. Rutgers, 29-16)|
|2014||Notre Dame||8–5||Music City (def. LSU, 31-28)|
|2015||Notre Dame||10–3||Fiesta (lost to Ohio St., 44-28)|
|2017||Notre Dame||10–3||Citrus (def. LSU, 21-17)|
|2018||Notre Dame||12–1||Cotton (lost to Clemson, 30-3)|
|2019||Notre Dame||11–2||Camping World (def. Iowa St., 33-9)|
|2020||Notre Dame||10–2||9–0||1st||Rose (CFP Semifinal; lost to Alabama, 31-14)|
|2022||LSU||10-4||6-2||1st (West)||Citrus (def. Purdue, 63-7)|
|Career Totals||33rd Season in 2023||294-101-2 *|