The college football world is still reeling after it was revealed that Brian Kelly was leaving his position with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and taking over as the new head coach at LSU.
Kelly informed his players of the decision on Tuesday morning in a brief meeting before leaving campus, and school officials are now working to find a replacement for the winningest-coach in the history of the program.
The big question now in South Bend is which coach will take over from Kelly. Here are the latest nuggets of information that we have about the search for a new Notre Dame head coach:
-During his press conference Tuesday morning, Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said that Kelly did not try to re-negotiate his contract with the school prior to announcing his departure, and said that he has not reached out to any potential candidates yet.
He also said that he was “not surprised” that Kelly resigned his position with the school, saying that “there had been enough in the weeks leading up that led me to believe that there were other things attracting Brian.”
Swarbrick also declined to name an interim head coach, with Notre Dame’s season over and the team currently waiting to see whether they will go to the College Football Playoff or to a bowl game.
-According to CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd, Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell is “apparently the number one choice” for Notre Dame as they begin their search for a new head coach.
“ND wants renewed bond with traditional Midwest Catholic high schools in recruiting,” Dodd reported.
Complicating matters for the Irish is the fact that Fickell’s Bearcats are currently undefeated, and are likely going to become the first Power Five school to ever reach the College Football Playoff.
The odds of Fickell leaving before that occurs are unknown at this time.
-According to ESPN’s Michael DiRocco, Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer, who has been linked at various times to coaching at Notre Dame, has said he has “no interest” in taking another college coaching job:
-According to Pete Sampson, who covers Notre Dame football for The Athletic, Kelly has reached out to Irish defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman about bringing him to Baton Rouge for the same role with the LSU Tigers.
The report indicates that Freeman would become the top-paid assistant in college football if he were to accept:
Freeman would seem to be an intriguing candidate if the Fighting Irish decided to go in-house with their coaching search, but the offer to join the coaching staff of an SEC school could be an intriguing one for Freeman.
-Another candidate that apparently would be interested in the job is Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell. According to Jordan Strack of WTOL 11 in Toledo, Campbell is “interested” in the job, and the Notre Dame position would be “one of the very few jobs in the country he’d take.”