Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly talks Irish roots, pride, adversity


Three years ago, I spent two weeks up and down the West Coast. We
golfed, enjoyed all the great courses and all the lively conversation
in the pubs. It’s always good to go into a pub and start a
conversation about politics. You’re either going to get somebody to
buy you one or you’re going to have to leave. [Laughs].

O'DOWD: What was it like to go back to Boston – against Boston College?
KELLY: For me, we just needed to win the game. My family loved it. They had
100 people tailgating. Cousins, aunts, uncles, cousins I didn’t know,
wanted tickets too. Everybody was my cousin that weekend. I know they
had a heck of a time and really enjoyed it, but I’ve been back there
twice to play.

When I was at Grand Valley State we went and played Bentley College
which is just outside of Boston and beat ’em pretty good, and then
came back and beat BC, so I’m doing pretty good in Boston right now.

O'DOWD: So what’s your secret to creating a winning team?

KELLY: I think winning starts with you – [but] you all have to be in it.
It’s a team game first of all and it’s not just a bunch of
individuals. Those that win at the highest level win as a team, and
once you’re able to develop that structure of a team where people care
about each other you can then go to work on all the other principles.
Until you have a team that cares about each other you have no chance
of winning. When we got here, this was not a team. This was a
collection of individuals that played at Notre Dame, and that’s what
we’re changing and it’s coming together pretty good.

O'DOWD: You seem deeply aware of the Notre Dame history and its mystique.

KELLY: Yes. As a football program, we’re getting back to our traditional
roots. It should be fun. We’re going to unveil the green jerseys for
that game too, (against Army in New York on November 20th) the green
is recognizable in certain parts of the country. Green does not work
very well here, but in New York green is a good thing. We’re going to
be using that helmet right there with a shamrock on it, next year when
we play the University of Michigan. We’re going to be using throwback
uniforms. We’re going to play the first ever night game at the
University of Michigan.

It goes deep. I didn’t know all the history until I read about four of
the books, and learned a lot about Notre Dame and how Notre Dame was
perceived. It is an incredible history and imparts a great sense of
mission. It is just great to be here.

O'DOWD: Thank you, Coach Kelly.