SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — At least one player was excited by what new Brian Kelly told players during a 25-minute meeting Friday after the new Notre Dame coach arrived on campus.
Players declined comment following the meeting, but linebacker Brian Smith posted his thoughts on Twitter, saying: "just met with coach kelly. good guy. i wanna play now."
Kelly arrived at the football facility shortly before 11, but didn't comment as he entered the building, walking over the words "Welcome home Coach Kelly" written in chalk on the sidewalk.
The former Cincinnati coach agreed to a five-year contract with Notre Dame on Thursday and is to be introduced at a news conference Friday afternoon.
The 47-year-old Kelly officially takes over Monday, starting the job he has always wanted. As a sign of his eagerness, Kelly's Twitter page got a complete makeover after the announcement. The background featured Notre Dame's stadium, and the biography listed South Bend as his location along with a brief statement.
"Thrilled to be the coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish," the bio said. "Committed to stirring People with PASSION and PURPOSE."
He won't have a difficult time stirring the Irish faithful. The question is whether he can succeed where his predecessors failed, returning Notre Dame to BCS prominence and keeping those fans on his side.
He headed to South Bend with slightly less job security than previous coaches.
The last three Notre Dame coaches started out with six-year deals — Weis, Tyrone Willingham and George O'Leary, who resigned five days after his hiring. The last coach to get a five-year deal was Bob Davie when he took the job after the 1996 season.
Notre Dame has gone 16-21 over the past three seasons and is losing two of its best offensive players. Quarterback Jimmy Clausen and his favorite receiver, Golden Tate, announced Monday they will enter the NFL draft.