2020 Notre Dame Football Preview

Digital Edition

Blue & Gold Illustrated: 2020 Notre Dame Football Preview

Issue link: https://comanpub.uberflip.com/i/1264448

Contents of this Issue


Page 37 of 163

36 ✦ BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED 2020 FOOTBALL PREVIEW BY LOU SOMOGYI P art of the football coaching Mount Rushmore at Notre Dame entailed longevity. Knute Rockne had the longest tenure with 13 years (1918-30) before a tragic death in office, while Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian and Lou Holtz each reached 11 seasons be- fore stepping down later that year. Brian Kelly in 2020 will become the fifth Fighting Irish head coach to reach year 11 — but the first without a national title, although his 2012 and 2018 editions both posted 12-0 regular seasons. Kelly is in the rarefied air with Nick Saban (Alabama) and Dabo Swinney (Clemson) as the three active Football Bowl Subdivision coaches who have produced three unbeaten regular seasons (Kelly's first was at Cincin- nati in 2009 that helped land him the Notre Dame job). But the other two have multiple national titles. He is also in the rare air of Fighting Irish icons who managed to reach year 11. The first 10 seasons took meandering paths over three different stages in his career. Ulti- mately, the fourth and probably final gallop in the home stretch will define his Notre Dame legacy. SEGMENT 1: The Rise This was the initial four-year period from 2010-13 highlighted by the BCS Champion- ship appearance in the 2012 campaign that resulted in a 42-14 defeat to Alabama. The 37-15 record (.711 winning percent- age) in that time was the best four-year run by the program since the early 1990s, and the payoff included signing the No. 3-ranked recruiting class in 2013, easily the highest in his tenure, which has been mostly between the top-10 to top-15 range. At the end of the four-year stretch, Kel- ly's two primary lieutenants — coordinators RARE AIR RARE AIR Brian Kelly has achieved coaching longevity, with one final chapter to be written

Articles in this issue

view archives of 2020 Notre Dame Football Preview - Digital Edition