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Published:December 13th, 2009 12:41 EST
Brian Kelly Leaves Bearcats To Coach Notre Dame

Brian Kelly Leaves Bearcats To Coach Notre Dame

By Ron G Anselm

  

     Brian Kelly the head coach or should I say the now Ex-Head Coach of the Cincinnati Bearcats leaves his job for greener pastures headed for the head coaching job at Notre Dame. Kelly who came onboard at Cincinnati three years ago and turned around the team into a winning team in that time frame is now leaving the team just before the big game. The Bearcats made the Sugar Bowl this year, and will have to go into the game minus their original head coach.

     I can understand that opportunities arise and you have to jump on those opportunities and capitalize, in this case get the head coaching job at Notre Dame but the Fighting Irish has had a less than perfect season this year and are not headed to any bowl game, couldn`t Brian Kelly at least work out a deal with Notre Dame to get the Head Coaching job there but come onboard after the Bearcats play in the Sugar Bowl? I don`t know every detail as to why Kelly was named the head coach of Notre Dame or what stipulations went along with him accepting the job now and leaving the Bearcats stranded in the midst of the Sugar Bowl but I am sure there probably could have been something worked out by Kelley with Notre Dame to come onboard after he hangs with his team, the Bearcats or should I say his now ex-team the Bearcats after they at least play in the Sugar Bowl.

     Everyone who is a football fan knows that there are three main positions that drive the offense for a team and those three positions are the Quarterback, the Head Coach and the Offensive Coordinator. To lose a head coach now this late in the season will certainly more than likely have a big effect on the Bearcats offense going into the Sugar Bowl; but there is one positive note on this thought, that is the Offensive Coordinator, Jeff Quinn was name the interim Head Coach of the Bearcats.

     This is a good move for the Bearcats since there will be no change in the play calling or the signal calling and the offense for the Bearcats will not have to make any quick changes to the offensive game plan for now going into the Sugar Bowl. The Bearcats face the Florida Gators in the game and will need every offensive weapon they have to be able to beat Florida, although the Gators may still be licking their wounds after losing to Alabama in the BCS Championship game a week ago. So, both teams are really coming off two events that could have an impact on the team`s morale and motivation but this should still prove to be a good game and a memorable bowl game.

     The Cincinnati Bearcat`s Athletic Director Mike Thomas began looking for Kelly`s replacement but has not made it clear who he is going after for the head coaching job. The team will have to just move on and continue rolling like this really never happened but is hard to do in a short period of time.

     Most of the Bearcats player`s reactions to Kelly leaving the team at this point are mostly full of anger and resentment but most of the players are looking at this in a way as the team still needs to function as a team and the team needs to just focus on the Sugar Bowl and continue preparing for it. As junior receiver Armin Binns put it, its hard man, but we can`t let it get us down, we have a really, really big game when it comes down to it. " (Binns, 2009 SI.com, College Football) This is the attitude each player on the Bearcats needs to have to be able to mentally focus on prepare for the game against the Gators in the Sugar Bowl.

     The Bearcats held a team banquet last Thursday and Kelly showed up and was escorted by two police officers to the banquet. He met with the team and told them of his decision to leave for the Head Coaching job at Notre Dame. Most of the players treated the meeting with Kelley as sort of an I don`t want to hear it at this point attitude " Wide Receiver Marty Gilyard was a good example of how most of the players felt. Gilyard walked out of the meeting with Kelly and had this to say, He went for that money, that wasn`t no time for me to be in there, " Gilyard said.   I do not want to hear it. I am thoroughly disgusted with this situation. " (Gilyard, 2009 Cincinnati.com)

      I think most of the player feel this way and just want to move past this for now. After the Sugar Bowl either the team will have already forgotten about this or I am sure there probably will be more opinions heard and anger felt but in any case the team needs to put this out of their heads and focus on the Sugar Bowl coming up in a few weeks. Mike Thomas, the Bearcats Athletic Director says he has confident in the team`s readiness for the Sugar Bowl with his interim Head Coach and the remaining staff. 

     We all know in the world of sports that head coaches leave and get fired, Baseball Managers are in the same spotlight, free agents leave teams for more money and better opportunities with other teams, and even on the business side of the team, there are changes that take place but for a Head Coach of any team to leave on his own at this point in the season for any reason, money, opportunity and so on is inexcusable in my personal opinion.

     I think the Bearcats need to win and win big in the Sugar Bowl to prove they are a winning team and can handle adversity at any point of the season and even with their Head Coach Brian Kelly leaving them out to dry just before the big game, to take the attitude of We are a winning football team despite what has happened and we can drive on and win in any circumstance " "                                                                     

                                                                         References:

Binns, Armin, 2009, SI.com " College Football, 12-0 Bearcats Get Ready for Bowl without Kelly,   

     (sportsillustrated.cnn.com).

 Gilyard, Marty, 2009, Brian Kelly Leaves Cincinnati to Become Coach of Notre Dame,

     (news.cincinnati.com).