Thursday, December 10, 2009

Take Kelly...and me too | by Pat

We've been down this path before, but now that it's being reported that tonight's Cincinnati football banquet is keeping the media on the outside, it's becoming more and more likely that Kelly will be announced (or leaked) as ND's newest head coach very soon. The theory is that Kelly gets some time away from twittering journalists to break the news to his team and very soon thereafter the horse is out of the barn, so to speak.

But until that hits the mainstream, we still only have rumors and suggestions from the media, friends, and former co-workers of Kelly.

“I’ve been convinced for about two months that he’s going to Notre Dame,” [Chuck] Martin said. “I’m not really paying any attention because I’m just waiting for somebody to tell me it’s official.”

When Kelly took two Grand Valley teams to NCAA Division II championships this decade, Martin was his defensive coordinator.

Kelly left to become coach at Central Michigan, then Cincinnati. At each stop, he called Martin about coaching his defense, but Martin opted instead for winning his own pair of national titles, and could add a third Saturday.

If Kelly calls next from Notre Dame, don’t expect the same answer.

“No, I wouldn’t turn that down,” Martin said. “But I’ve turned down D-coordinator at Central and D-coordinator at Cincinnati. He may be done asking me.

“I’ll let you know if he does ask me. He’ll call me if he wants to call me and, if he doesn’t, I won’t bother him. It’s not like I’m going to call him if he gets the job. We’ve got that kind of relationship. If he wants me on his staff, he’ll call me.” ...

“He was like, ‘Would head coaches want to be a D-coordinator?’” Martin said. “And I said, ‘Well, I wouldn’t want to be a D-coordinator anywhere, but I am a Chicago Catholic -- if he wasn’t already in South Bend, I’d probably beat him there.’ I grew up and that was my team.”
It certainly is odd seeing people lobby in the press for a an assistant spot under a coach that hasn't been officially hired yet. Even more odd to see a head coach with a 74-6 career record and two national championships admit he'd take a coordinator position under his old boss. The closer to the end of this search we seem to get, the more strange twists and turns we see.