When you've been someplace as long as Brian Kelly has been at UND, you know the inner workings of that institution: The things that make that place tick. The nuances that make it special. The greatest strengths and embarrassing weaknesses.
In five months and a few days, while coaching zero games, recruiting for two long months, and doing everything to defend the tremendous honor that comes with his small coaching fraternity, a coach just knows why his program's special.
Brian Kelly gets "it".
When he talks to reporters about how there's nothing better than coaching at an independent program, you just gotta respect what he's saying. Yeah, he's seen some hard times and some great times in South Bend...but when compared to DII, the MAC and the Big East, there's no comparison- Brian Kelly knows where he belongs. He's like a cowboy, a renegade...A glorious, renegade, free-wheeling, Ross-Perot-esque, Irish-Cowboy. He personifies the great American, independent spirit...and there's nothing better than the Independent Brian Kelly coaching the Independent ghosts and echoes of great teams from 20, 30, 40-plus years ago.
Hats off to you, Coach Kelly, for standing up for something you know so much about...and keeping in stride with the long tradition of traditional traditioning at Notre Dame.