The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have been a major disappointment thus far in the 2016 college football season. Brian Kelly has not gotten the job done this season, and the blame has already cost former defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder his job. Many believe that Kelly could end up being next.
Kelly has been a very solid head coach at Notre Dame throughout his tenure with the team. He has led the Fighting Irish to a 57-27 record during his time with the school. While his record hasn’t been awful, fans and some within the school administration believe that Kelly needs to go, and the Fighting Irish should move forward with a new head football coach.
If Notre Dame does decide to fire Kelly, there are quite a few different options that they could look at to replace him.
We have previously mentioned both Les Miles and Tony Dungy as potential coaching candidates. Either coach would be a huge pickup for the Fighting Irish, but there is another name to throw into the mix.
Andrew Holleran of College Spun mentioned former Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel as a potential candidate for the Fighting Irish should they choose to fire Kelly this coming offseason.
During Tressel’s career at Ohio State, he was one of the best head coaches in college football. In the 10 seasons that he coached the Buckeyes, Tressel ended up compiling a 94-22 record. He also led Ohio State to a National Championship win and six Big Ten championships.
Tressel will be eligible to coach in 2017 when his suspension ends, which makes him an intriguing coaching candidate for any team with an opening.
At 63-years-old, Tressel still has time to take over another coaching job and make a change. He would have plenty of time to turn things around at Notre Dame. Changing the culture would be the first step for him, which is something that Tressel wouldn’t have too much difficulty doing.
One thing that has become apparent at Notre Dame has been the fact that players are not as passionate as they once were. Kelly has mentioned that as well, and things have to change whether Kelly sticks around or another head coach is brought in to fix the problem.
“They can’t burn for a long time. There’s no passion,” Kelly said. “There’s no passion for it. It looks like it’s hard to play. Like we’re pulling teeth. You’re playing football for Notre Dame. It looks like it’s work. Last I checked they were getting a scholarship to play this game. There’s no fun, there’s no enjoyment, there’s no energy. We’ve got to look for the guys that want to have fun and play this game with passion and energy and that’s where we got to go.”
That quote shows why a change could be imminent at Notre Dame, and why there is a good chance that the Fighting Irish will be looking to bring in a new head coach at some point in the near future.
It will be interesting to see what ends up happening throughout the remainder of the season. Notre Dame is currently 2-4 on the season after falling to N.C. State last week. There is no excuse for the lack of production that the Fighting Irish have had with the amount of talent that is on the roster.
Expect to hear plenty more rumors about a coaching change at Notre Dame throughout the remainder of the season. Plenty more candidates will be mentioned in the coming weeks, especially if Notre Dame continues to struggle with Kelly leading the way on the sidelines.
Don’t be surprised to hear Tressel’s name mentioned in rumors with him becoming eligible to coach again next season. He was an excellent football coach at Ohio State and would be a huge pickup for any football program that decides to give him a chance, assuming he’s interested in coaching again.
Do you think the Notre Dame Fighting Irish should pursue Jim Tressel to be their next head coach? Who do you think would be the ideal fit to replace Brian Kelly? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Featured Image by David Richard/AP Images]