"This week, I had an incredible opportunity to speak with one of the premier organizations in sports about becoming their head coach," Kelly said in a released statement. "Like every kid who has ever put on a pair of football cleats, I have had thoughts about being a part of the NFL. However, after much reflection and conversation with those closest to me, I have decided to remain at Notre Dame.
"This decision was motivated purely by my love for Notre Dame and the entire Fighting Irish community, the young men I have the great fortune to coach, and my desire to continue to build the best football program in the country. We still have a lot of work to do and my staff and I are excited about the challenges ahead."
Kelly interviewed with the Eagles mere hours after the Irish were trounced by Alabama in the BCS national championship game. Reports then surfaced Saturday morning that Kelly had a second interview scheduled this weekend, sending speculation to a fever pitch. But the Irish ended the suspense Saturday afternoon, just two hours before Kelly was scheduled to receive the Walter Camp Coach of the Year award at Yale.
"I was always confident that Brian would continue to lead our football program. I am very happy to have that confirmed and share Brian's excitement about what lies ahead for our program," said Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick. "I appreciate the Eagles reaching out to request permission to speak with Brian, and I also appreciate Brian keeping me fully informed throughout this process. We all look forward to what's ahead for Notre Dame football."