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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly Brings his Irish Swagger Back to Boston

The first-year coach of the University of Notre Dame Irish football team, Brian Kelly, has returned to his Boston Irish-American beginnings this weekend as his team takes on the Boston College Eagles.

Born in Everett, Mass, Kelly grew up in Chelsea, a working class city bordering Boston, and spent his formative years in the Bay State. His father, Paul Kelly Sr, served as an alderman on the Chelsea City Council.

After attending St. John's Prep School in Davners, MA, Kelly attended Assumption College in Worcester, where he played football and became a three-year defensive coordinator for the team upon graduating in 1983. He's been a football coach since then, working his way around the country and leading the University of Cincinnati football program to a 34-6 record from 2007-09.

Kelly has been described as "a winner everywhere he goes" in a profile published by the Worcester Telegram. 

In an interview with ESPN reporter Mark Schlabach, Kelly described a painting hanging in his office entitled The Original Fighting Irish:

"You don't see faces.  You see blue-collar.  You see a bit of a swagger.  You see toughness.  Growing up as an Irish Catholic in Boston, that's what I remember Notre Dame being.  That's been one of our goals every day - to get that fight back in the Fighting Irish.  It's good because that's who I am anyway."
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