Kelly says he’ll talk to Notre Dame
CINCINNATI (AP)—Coach Brian Kelly confirmed on Monday that he will meet with Notre Dame officials about their open job, leaving fourth-ranked Cincinnati with a lot of uncertainty heading into its first Sugar Bowl appearance.
Kelly met with his players on Monday afternoon, and confirmed his interest in the Notre Dame job on his Twitter feed.
“Just informed our team that Notre Dame has contacted me and I will listen to what they have to say,” he tweeted.
The New York Times reported on Monday that Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh also is being interviewed for the job as Charlie Weis’ successor. Harbaugh declined to talk about it, telling the newspaper, “Not now or not in the future will I talk about any other jobs or opportunities.”
With the regular season finished, Notre Dame was lining up interviews with candidates this week.
Florida’s Urban Meyer and Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops have tried to dampen speculation by saying they are staying at their schools. Meyer’s Gators will play Cincinnati (12-0) in the Sugar Bowl.
ESPN first reported that Kelly would interview with Notre Dame on Tuesday in New York, where the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is having its annual awards dinner. Kelly didn’t return a message left on his cell phone, but told Dan Patrick on his radio show that he expects to decide his future by Saturday.
Asked if he’d definitely coach the Bearcats in the Sugar Bowl, Kelly said, “No, there’s no guarantees in anything that you do. I’ve never given a guarantee whether I was going to make it home at the end of the day.”
Cincinnati athletic director Mike Thomas was in New York on Monday for Big East meetings. He said through a spokesman that the university is still negotiating with Kelly on an upgraded contract. Kelly got an improved deal at the end of last season, including a commitment by the university to build practice fields.
Kelly hadn’t posted anything on his Twitter account since last week, leading up to a 45-44 victory in Pittsburgh on Saturday that clinched Cincinnati’s second straight Big East title. His previous tweet said: “Pitt is tough enough to prepare for but it will be nice given the current weather that we will have an indoor bubble this time next year.”
A message seeking comment was left for Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick on his cell phone. University spokesman Brian Hardin said Swarbrick was not available for comment.
AP Sports Writer Tom Coyne in South Bend, Ind., contributed to this report
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