On Wednesday, Brian Kelly was formally introduced as the 34th head coach in LSU Football history at a press conference at 12:00 pm.
Kelly faced the press for the first time this afternoon as LSU's Head Football Coach. One of the first questions he was asked was from an Indiana reporter who asked how he made the decision to leave his current team - which is eligible for the playoffs.
"It's never easy, these decisions are mine. I own it. It's 100 percent my decision," he said. "Those young men, I love dearly and it made for a difficult decision. But the opportunity here was one, as I got a chance to really talk to (LSU Athletic Director) Scott (Woodward) about the resources and the opportunity here to really make a significant change... I believe I can make a significant difference here. And you want to make a difference."
That reporter then asked if he expected the timing of his departure to affect his legacy at Notre Dame.
"Leaving is never easy," Kelly said, adding that there's no perfect way to do it. "This team at Notre Dame is an outstanding football team and they deserve to be in the playoffs and you're not going to be coaching them. It's never easy when you leave."
Kelly said he was fortunate to be able to stand in front of his players and tell them he was coming to LSU, and added that his legacy is not something that really factored into his decision.
"Legacies are not what I spend time thinking about. People will evaluate me based upon my life's work and how I've treated people and make their own decisions," he said.
During his prepared remarks, Kelly said he made his decision based upon his stalks with Woodward and other LSU officials, and what "the boss," or his wife, had to say about it.
He repeated the word "alignment" several times. "....alignment relative to this university, the goals, what is in store for LSU Athletics, that is what the draw is for me," he said.
"That cohesion, that collaboration, that kind of communication, that's what, for me, led me here to Baton Rouge," he added.
That's not to say that wasn't true in Fort Bend, he said.
"I can't say enough about the 12 years at Notre Dame, the incredible people I worked with and the incredible players," he said.
Kelly pledged transparency, academic excellence and athletic excellence.
"This is an exciting day for me, an incredible opportunity for everybody associated with LSU, the LSU family," he said. "We will have high standards here, and we will fulfill those standards.
Kelly indicated he will take the status of his former players into account in building his staff at LSU.
"Are there coaches there that i would like to have join me here? Certainly. But that's a process," he said. "This has to be done with great community and with the understanding that those players are a part of this too."
LSU announced on November 30 that Kelly had been hired as head football coach.
According to the university, he will receive a 10-year, $95 milion contract, plus incentives.
See the live stream below from LSU:
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