Brian Kelly staying at Notre Dame: Eagles strike out again

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Kelly becomes the latest college coach to turn down the Eagles.

We'll never know whether Brian Kelly truly had interest in the NFL or whether it was merely a negotiating tactic, but regardless, the coach will return to Notre Dame -- likely with some added incentive from the university.

Kelly had interviewed with the Philadelphia Eagles just days after losing the national championship game, but eventually didn't take the job, instead deciding to stay with the Fighting Irish, a school official confirmed on Saturday.

Kelly had just received a two-year contract extension a year ago after going 8-5 in his first two seasons. That extension kept Kelly at Notre Dame through 2016, although the details of the contract were undisclosed, as Notre Dame is a private university.

There's no doubt Kelly has been great for the Fighting Irish: after Ty Willingham and Charlie Weis flamed out, the Irish had strong seasons in Kelly's first two years before going 12-0 and earning a national championship berth this year, although they were crushed by Alabama in that appearance. They haven't had a consistently successful coach since Lou Holtz and, in three years under Kelly, Notre Dame has gone to three bowl games.

There's a slight cost to Kelly's decision to interview with the NFL, as four-star linebacker commit Alex Anzalone switched schools for a second time, leaving the Irish for Florida.

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