Late November usually not friendly to Notre Dame coaches - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Late November usually not friendly to Notre Dame coaches


Coach Brian Kelly might have just found the luck of the Irish, because he unlike many before him has survived a week that in recent history has not been friendly to Notre Dame football coaches.

The most recent coach to not make it past late-November was Charlie Weis, who was let go on Nov. 30,2009, after he failed to keep the Notre Dame momentum going that he had in his first two seasons with the Irish.

Prior to Weis, Tyrone Willingham was fired by the school on Nov. 30, 2004. Willingham only lasted three seasons with Notre Dame and in each of those years the Irish were defeated by arch-rival USC.

Other coaches who saw their time end at Notre Dame in late-November/early-December were Bob Davie, who was fired on Dec. 2, 2001, Lou Holtz, who resigned on Dec. 1, 1996, and Gerry Faust, who was fired by Notre Dame on Nov. 27 1985. Several have speculated Holtz was forced to resign by the school.

"That's crazy," said Notre Dame fan John Myles when asked about the history surrounding this week. "It's a tribute to what coach Kelly has done. Not only does it not seem like he's on the way out or anywhere near on the way out, but I I think he's getting better with age. I only think it's going to get better from here on out."

Kelly's quick three year turn-around of a program might just have secured him a few more Novembers and Decembers to make it through. This makes it a somewhat strange time for Irish fans because most of the time a decent amount of them would be calling for the coach to be fired after three years.

"Everything depends on your winning," said Pete Ryan, a Notre Dame football season ticket holder since 1948. "If you're winning you can do anything, but when you lose you're in deep doodoo."

Even for some coaches short stints of winning were not good enough to stay at Notre Dame. Just ask former UND Coach Charlie Weis who was asked about his job security after a 10-3 season in 2006.

"If I didn't think I could stay here for the rest of my career, both by me wanting to be here and me believing I could do it here or them not wanting to get rid of me here, I wouldn't be doing the things I'm doing off the field [buying a mansion and starting a charity in South Bend]," said Weis.

Three years later, Weis was looking for work. Notre Dame fans like what Coach Kelly has done so far though, so they don't think he'll be gone anytime soon.

"Coach has been great," said Sam Gaglio. "Particularly from the aspect of stressing the academics as well as athletics."

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