Report: Kelly to be new coach at Notre Dame

From ESPN.com:

Brian Kelly, who has coached Cincinnati's football team to a 12-0 record this season and a berth in the Sugar Bowl, will be the new coach at Notre Dame, two sources have told ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

Neither Notre Dame nor Cincinnati has confirmed that Kelly has accepted an offer to coach the Fighting Irish, and Kelly could not be reached for comment, but the sources tell Mortensen that Kelly is Notre Dame's choice to replace the fired Charlie Weis.

The 47-year-old Kelly is 34-6 in three seasons at Cincinnati, leading the Bearcats to back-to-back Big East titles and two straight Bowl Championship Series berths. The Bearcats set a school record last season for victories with an 11-3 record, then topped that with a 12-0 mark this season.

Cincinnati is holding its football banquet later tonight, and in a change of plans Thursday afternoon, barred the media from the event. One source told Mortensen that Kelly will announce at the banquet that he has taken the Notre Dame job. Earlier this week, Kelly had contact with representative of Notre Dame about its opening.

Neither source could confirm whether Kelly would coach Cincinnati (No. 3 BCS, No. 4 AP) against fifth-ranked Florida in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on New Year's Day. The Bearcats have won 18 straight regular-season games.

The Chicago Tribune reported this week that Kelly would not coach the Bearcats in the Sugar Bowl if hired by Notre Dame, and that associate head coach/defensive backs coach Kerry Coombs would be his likely replacement.

Last week Kelly and Notre Dame officials had an informational meeting, which was facilitated by Parker Executive Search, the Atlanta firm that Notre Dame used to gauge potential candidates' interest, according to the Tribune's Web site.

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