New Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly's first game on the Irish sideline this weekend will also be the first time he has watched a game at Notre Dame Stadium.
'Never been to a game,' he told the press this week. 'This will all be new to me.'
But as the college football season kicks off this week, so does a whole new era under his eye at Notre Dame, with the promise of much happier days ahead.
The question haunting every supporter is, after a decade in the wilderness where they failed to contend for a national title, can Kelly really relight the Golden Dome and Notre Dame's future?
'Probably the singular most enjoyable part of being at Notre Dame is the kids you get to work with,' he tells the press. 'It's really, for me, a culmination of 20 years of being in this."
When the Irish face Purdue this Saturday, they will be lining up against a team whose record during the last 13 years is broadly similar to their own.
It has been 22 seasons since Notre Dame won a national title, the longest drought in their program's history. Kelly was hired for his skill at turning losing programs into winners. In his 19 years as a head coach, he has had only one losing season. That record gives him confidence in his ability to prepare his team for success, he says.
Regardless of the pressure, Kelly says he won't be intimidated by the occasion. 'When you get out on that field, I don't think of anything else but how to win a game,' he says.
Moving to Ireland
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