Brian Kelly was officially introduced as the LSU football program’s 34th head coach Wednesday and met with the media for the first time. The press conference in its entirety is listed below.
Before being officially introduced Wednesday, Kelly also met with his new team not long after arriving in Baton Rouge on Tuesday.
With 280 career wins, two CFB playoff appearances, and one appearance in the BCS National Title game, it took Scott Woodward a 10-year $95 million dollar contract to lure Kelly from South Bend to LSU. The contract will be worth over $100 million if certain incentives are hit.
The hiring concludes a months long saga that began with the firing of Ed Orgeron in October. While dozens of candidates were mentioned and with some doubts about Woodward’s ability to make a big time hire following Lincoln Riley taking the USC job, Woodward certainly proved he can make a big splash grabbing Kelly to the Tigers.
The next question for Kelly will be the make up of his staff. Multiple reports have reported that Kelly is looking to keep current defensive backs coach Corey Raymond along with running back coach Kevin Faulk. The rest of the staff is likely to be much of Kelly’s staff at Notre Dame led by offensive coordinator Tommy Rees. Kelly will also make a strong push to bring down his defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman, who was the front runner for LSU’s DC job last off-season, but Freeman might be in the mix for the now vacant head coach opening at Notre Dame along with other oppenings.
Reaction to Kelly has been mixed. Some believe Kelly is equipped to lead the Tigers to a new level of success. Others don’t believe Kelly is the appropriate cultural fit for the job. Tiger QB commit Walker Howard has been supportive of the decision, while cornerback Eli Ricks, who entered the transfer portal said the move to hire Kelly has not made him want to take his name out of the portal.
Kelly will have to hit the ground running, not only to finish his staff, but also to recruit LSU’s roster and high school prospects with national signing day coming in a few weeks.