Brian Kelly wasn't my choice to be Notre Dame's next head football coach, as you know, but it is obvious he was the primary and probably only target that the search committee had in mind from the minute that the decision to oust Charlie Weis was made.
Now where does Kelly go from here? The press conferences are over, the obligatory speeches have been made and the alumni apparently are satisfied...for the time being.
Notre Dame doesn't need a big name as its news head coach. There was so much talk about Urban Meyer and Bob Stoops, a lot of flash. But what Notre Dame needs is a solid coach with a great personality who knows how to bring in two outstanding coordinators and seven great recruiters who also happen to be great coaches and teachers.
Will Brian Kelly fill the bill?
Remember, only 25 percent of the head coaches in Division I are great recruiters, guys who know how to recruit the great players. When you are at Notre Dame, you can attract the great assistant coaches who can recruit the great players.
Lane Kiffin was a major disappointment with the Oakland Raiders. But he convinced Tennessee that he could put together a great staff. The first thing he did was bring in his father Monte from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, one of the best defensive coordinators in the country, and Jim Chaney, an offensive coordinator and outstanding recruiter who developed Drew Brees at Purdue.
Kiffin also hired seven of the best recruiters in the nation, including Ed Orgeron, the former Old Miss head coach, and paid him $600,000 to be defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator.
Guess what? Tennessee will be a BCS team within two years. Kiffin will sign one of the best if not the best recruiting class for 2010.
It is a proven formula followed by Pete Carroll at USC, Mack Brown at Texas, Nick Saban at Michigan State, LSU and Alabama and Urban Meyer at Florida. All of them have won national titles.
If Kelly follows that formula at Notre Dame, he will restore the Irish back to national prominence.