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Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly Advised Texas' Tom Herman

May 21, 2020

When it comes to football, Notre Dame and Texas are similar programs in many ways and extremely different in other aspects. 

The two programs share lofty expectations every year and there is significant pressure to win each season.

Texas head coach Tom Herman has been a head coach for five seasons while Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly coached at Grand Valley State for 13 years before being a Division I head coach for the last 16 seasons. 

The Longhorns program did a complete overhaul of its coaching staff following the 7-6 campaign in 2019 by bringing in six new coaches, a move similar to that of Kelly after the 4-8 season in 2016. 

Herman made the trip to South Bend in February to pick Kelly's brain about how to make a major staff change work as Notre Dame has gone 33-6 over the last three seasons. 

"He's been a coach a lot longer than I have, all the way back to Grand Valley State, and Central Michigan, and Cincinnati and Notre Dame so he went through a coaching transition, much like we did," Herman told the Dallas News

"He had the luxury, I call it a luxury, the year that he made a few changes on his staff, they were 4-8, they didn't go to a bowl game. He had that whole month of December and January to hire his new staff and onboard them in terms of expectations of their culture."

Kelly's big splash came as he hired Chip Long as offensive coordinator and Mike Elko as defensive coordinator. 

But the most significant move was Kelly taking his hand out of playcalling and turning the keys of the offense to Long, which is something Herman was interested in learning more about. 

"There are head coaches out there that call the offense and the defense, and do a really good job at it, but if you're going to do that, you've got to make sure you've got the time to do that and the support system on both sides of the ball to step away from it," Herman explained. 

"The takeaway was hire coordinators that you believe in and you trust. Get out of the offensive meeting room from time to time, build your relationship with your players and make sure you're seeing the entire enterprise of Texas football from a 30,000-foot view rather than a play-caller view. It was very helpful." 

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