Monday, December 7, 2009

Brian Kelly: Are Irish eyes smiling on UC coach?

He might be the best candidate Notre Dame can take a serious look at, because in Brian Kelly, the university has a possible hire with the makings of a blue-chip coach.

All the people who have met Kelly, who has created so much buzz around Ohio that a person might think he's coaching the Buckeyes, say the same thing: He's bright, innovative and personable, a trio of traits that neither of the university's past two coaches had all of.

It would be no hard task to deconstruct those two coaches, Ty Willingham and Charlie Weis, and say why they failed. Cut to the core, and what emerges when poring over the disassembled parts are personalities that never fit the Irish image.

Willingham's cool detachment endeared him to few of the Irish faithful, and Weis' unbridled arrogance created friction inside and outside the ivy walls of college football's most storied program.

Had Willingham and Weis won more often, their shortcomings might have been glossed over. Nobody can complain too loudly about a coach's smugness when his record stands at 12-0 and he's preparing for a BCS berth.

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