Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2014 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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IN THE TRENCHES ANDREW OWENS I Best Chance For A Championship n today's world of college football, longevity is an outdated concept. Teams bolt to different conferences and coaches leave town with frequency. Outside of Nick Saban's run at Alabama and Pete Carroll's at USC, it is rare to see a dynasty in college football. Look no further than former Texas head coach Mack Brown — the second-most successful coach in the proud program's history — who stepped aside after 16 years at the helm of the Longhorns. Today, the more realistic vision is to take advantage of a strong window of opportunity, rather than anticipate 20 or 30 years of on-field dominance under a single coach. Although the Irish will always have the resources to compete among the nation's elite, it takes the right duo of coach and athletics director to win a national championship. For Notre Dame, it's hard to envision a better tag team than athletics director Jack Swarbrick and head coach Brian Kelly. The first is one of the most respected figures in college athletics. He has been instrumental in the formation of the College Football Playoff, which will debut in 2014. His input is routinely pursued across all facets of the sport's governance. In Kelly's case, he transformed a program that went 16-21 in the three Since athletic director Jack Swarbrick hired Brian Kelly to head the football program, the Irish have compiled a 37-15 record (.712 winning percentage) — highlighted by last year's 12-0 regular season and ensuing appearance in the national championship game. PHOTO BY JOE RAYMOND seasons prior to his arrival into one that competed in the BCS National Championship Game last year. His coaching abilities — strong player development and improvement from his team from the beginning of the season to the end — align with those of other elite coaches. His programs even spit out top-notch assistants on a consistent basis. All three coordinators that have served under him at Notre Dame

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