Around College Football: Lou Holtz criticizes Brian Kelly's departure from Notre Dame

Lou Holtz isn’t a fan of how Brian Kelly left Notre Dame or the reasons behind the head coach’s sudden departure to LSU. All signs on Wednesday point to Notre Dame making defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman their next coach.

The last man to win a national championship at Notre Dame, Holtz continues to cast a giant shadow in South Bend. So to hear the legend critique Kelly’s departure this week to the SEC certainly carries some weight, especially when Holtz finds the new LSU head coach lacking in the resume department.


“Well, he was there for 12 years,” Holtz said on Wednesday’s edition of ‘The Crowd’s Line.’

“He did an excellent job. But I cannot think of one marquee win he ever had over a top 10 ten team other than he beat Clemson when they had the second-string quarterback. When Clemson played them the same year in Florida, they dominated Notre Dame but he’s an excellent coach.

“You just don’t leave Notre Dame – but you don’t go to Notre Dame because of money Mark. My average salary [in] 11 years was $115,000. Now, he’s going to go because of money and all the perks, etc.”

Kelly was 113-40 in his 12 years at Notre Dame, going 5-5 in bowl games. In seven of his full 11 seasons with Notre Dame, they finished the year ranked. Three times, they ended the season in the top 10.

He was an excellent recruiter, consistently landing top 10 classes at Notre Dame. In this current recruiting class, Kelly landed two of New Jersey’s top players in quarterback Steve Angeli and defensive back Jayden Bellamy.

Bellamy, a Rutgers legacy, still seems sold on Notre Dame but the Scarlet Knights have continued to recruit him despite his commitment in July to the Fighting Irish.

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Holtz spoke with Mark May on ‘The Crowds Line.’ May is a co-host on the show, a former collegiate standout at Pittsburgh who won two Super Bowls in the NFL as a player.


“But the other thing that bothered me about him Mark, he never talked about Notre Dame and what really made it great. To be part of Notre Dame you have to talk about the ‘lady on the dome.’ You kind of feel the spirit of Notre Dame just kind of be part of it. It’s just something you feel [an] awesome responsibility to the Notre Dame fans but to Notre Dame itself. And that never materialized,” Holtz said.

“But he is an excellent coach. He did a wonderful job. He left the program in much better shape than when he first arrived, but to go somewhere for money. I just don’t think that’s the right reason.”

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