Notre Dame's Brian Kelly Named Home Depot Coach of the Year

By Connor Muldowney
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

While Manti Te’o awaits his fate in the Heisman race, coach Brian Kelly is racking up some awards of his own. Kelly became the recipient of the 2012 Home Depot Coach of the Year award, the second time in four years that the Notre Dame coach has won the award.

While this is the second coach of the year trophy for Kelly, he became the only coach in the country to win more than one.

He is the most deserving candidate, turning an average 8-5 team to a 12-0 national title contender in just a year’s time. He has been the king of turnaround as he has taken teams such as Central Michigan and Cincinnati and turned them into nine or 10-win teams.

In fact, his previous national coach of the year award came in 2009 when the coach took an 11-3 team in 2008 and turned them into a 12-0 team that finished the season No. 3 in the BCS.

The third-year head coach is seeking his first ever Division I title, having won two Division II titles as the head coach of Grand Valley State University.

The third year is usually the most important season for head coaches because of the implications it would have had on recruiting and the system being put into place. Kelly has had a great third season at Notre Dame and has seen his job in South Bend secured more than it has ever been.

Kelly’s Fighting Irish have become the epitome of the underdog in college football and will face off against Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide in the national title game.

For now, Kelly has become one of the premier coaches in the entire country, if not the best. Watch out, Alabama.

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