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In Need of Revival, Notre Dame Taps Kelly

Notre Dame hired the coach it coveted, naming Cincinnati's Brian Kelly as the Irish's football coach Thursday. Kelly, 47, signed a five-year contract and will be introduced today at a news conference in South Bend.

The Irish are hoping Kelly, who will be Notre Dame's fifth coach this decade, will finally be the one to restore the Golden Dome's luster. The Irish just completed the worst decade in their history with a 70-52 record and three losing seasons. Kelly replaces fired Charlie Weis.

"I am very pleased that a thorough and extensive search has led us to a new head coach in Brian Kelly, who I am confident will help us accomplish our goal of competing for national championships," Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick said in a statement.

The Irish won their last national title in 1988.

Kelly is known for his quick-witted, high-energy personality and an exciting no-huddle spread offense.

Under him, the Bearcats captured consecutive Big East titles and two consecutive Bowl Championship Series berths and went 34-6 in his three seasons.

Cincinnati offensive coordinator Jeff Quinn will coach the 12-0 Bearcats in their first Sugar Bowl appearance where they will meet 12-1 Florida.

On Thursday night at the team's annual football banquet, wide receiver Marty Gilyard said the players were upset. He said Kelly had told him before their last game that he was staying.

"I heard everything I needed to know: 'I accepted the Notre Dame job,' " Gilyard told the Associated Press. "He went for the money. I'm fairly disgusted with the situation, that they let it last this long."

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