NOTRE DAME, Ind. (WNDU) – The Notre Dame head football coach is inching toward some rarified Irish air.
Only Knute Rockne, Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian and Lou Holtz have coached at Notre Dame for more seasons than Brian Kelly.
On Monday night, Kelly reaches a decade leading the Irish.
16 News Now Sports Director Mark Skol Jr. sat down with Kelly to talk about his milestone, moving on from a sour College Football Playoff loss and scheduling difficult road opponents.
"Ten years at Notre Dame. A lot of things happened. A lot of good things, a lot of great memories, and more to come," Kelly said when asked whether his time at the helm of the Irish has been everything he expected. "[I'm] so excited about this season. This football team is going to be a fun team to watch. And looking forward to the opener against Louisville."
While there have been many triumphs during Kelly's tenure with the Irish, one difficult pill to swallow was last year's Cotton Bowl loss in the College Football Playoff to Clemson. But it is not something upon which Kelly dwells.
"Going back to last season, how often do you think about the loss to Clemson in the college Football Playoff?" Skol asked.
"Not often," Kelly said. "We took a lot of things from that, both externally and internally. Operationally, we did a lot of things that I think we're better as a football team now. And players have improved from that game, coaches have improved from that game. But we don't think about it. We don't live in the past. We're in the present. And we took those things from that particular game."
It is no secret that the Irish play a tough road schedule this year. That was another topic of conversation between Skol and the coach.
"You've scheduled a bunch of tough opponents on the road: You're going to Athens and Ann Arbor, wrapping up at Stanford. Why is it important to schedule difficult opponents on the road?" Skol asked.
"That's what we do is an independent, we've always done that," Kelly said. "That's the history. That's the tradition of Notre Dame football. So we're just continuing in that vein, and we want our 12 games to hold up to the 13 that somebody would play if they're their conference champion. So, we don't want to hear anybody say, 'Well, they only played 12, and they didn't play a conference championship.' We'll look at our 12 against your 13."
For more from 16 News Now's one-on-one preseason conversation with Kelly, watch the videos above.