By David McCoy (email@example.com)
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5:39 PM EST, January 12, 2013
That's not a South Beach breeze you feel. It's Notre Dame Nation breathing a collective sigh of relief.
Kelly had been in contact with the Philadelphia Eagles about their head coaching vacancy, and met with the team on Tuesday.
He said he pursued the NFL because, well, who wouldn't?
"This week, I had an incredible opportunity to speak with one of the premier organizations in sports about becoming their head coach,” Kelly said in a statement. “Like every kid who has ever put on a pair of football cleats, I have had thoughts about being a part of the NFL. However, after much reflection and conversation with those closest to me, I have decided to remain at Notre Dame.
“This decision was motivated purely by my love for Notre Dame and the entire Fighting Irish community, the young men I have the great fortune to coach, and my desire to continue to build the best football program in the country. We still have a lot of work to do and my staff and I are excited about the challenges ahead.”
Kelly has been in line for a contract extension and raise after leading the Irish to an undefeated 12-0 regular season and a place in the BCS national championship game, which Notre Dame lost to Alabama 42-14 on Monday night.
Notre Dame’s announcement tonight contained no information about a possible extension or raise for Kelly or his assistants, but athletic director Jack Swarbrick told CBSSports.com that a new deal was in the works, saying there was "more work to do" and it won't be done for weeks.
Swarbrick told CBSSports.com that Kelly did not push for a raise or extension from Notre Dame during his talks with the Eagles.
"In every possible way I wasn't being leveraged," Swarbrick said. "I know people think there's a direct connection between the two events, but in our case it felt more routine internally than it did externally."
Kelly notified Notre Dame of his desire to stay put earlier today.
His dalliance with the Eagles didn't result in more money. That was coming his way anyway. It did lead to the loss of a highly-touted recruit -- linebacker Alex Anzalone -- as well as the ire of Irish fans who, on Twitter, called Kelly a crook and a weasel and everything in between.
Less than a week after the man led Notre Dame to its greatest success in decades.
“I was always confident that Brian would continue to lead our football program, I am very happy to have that confirmed and share Brian's excitement about what lies ahead for our program,” Swarbrick said in a statement. “I appreciate the Eagles reaching out to request permission to speak with Brian, and I also appreciate Brian keeping me fully informed throughout this process. We all look forward to what’s ahead for Notre Dame football.”
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