Critics Say This Anecdote Shows Ex-Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly 'Is Not A Good Person'

Kelly suddenly left the playoff-contending Fighting Irish for LSU.
Brian Kelly's exit from Notre Dame for LSU has stirred up some bitter memories.
Brian Kelly's exit from Notre Dame for LSU has stirred up some bitter memories.
Michael Hickey via Getty Images

Football coach Brian Kelly’s shocking in-season departure from Notre Dame to LSU has prompted some sour memories.

Sure, Kelly was the Fighting Irish’s winningest-ever coach when he suddenly bolted this week.

But sports journalist Trevor Woods on Tuesday reminded the internet that Kelly has not always been an ideal team leader. The reporter retweeted an unflattering 2019 ESPN story by Rob Demovsky, and concluded that “Brian Kelly is not a good person.”

In the resurfaced article, Robert Saleh told Demovsky that on one occasion in the mid-2000s, Kelly ― then the head coach at Central Michigan ― invited him and fellow graduate assistant coach Matt LaFleur to what they thought was a party at Kelly’s house. Only it was a ruse to get the two to shovel snow and park cars all night long.

“We decided that when we’re in that position, we’re never going to treat people the way we got treated,” Saleh told the sports network.

Saleh and LaFleur are now NFL head coaches with the New York Jets and the Green Bay Packers, respectively. When a reporter asked about the Kelly anecdote on Wednesday, Saleh said the story was meant to be funny, not “an indictment” of Kelly. “I feel terrible, because that whole thing was taken out of context,” he said.

“He’s a really good man,” Saleh said of Kelly, noting that he himself tried to go back to work for Kelly at Notre Dame years after the Central Michigan episode. “He treats people the right way.”

But after what USA Today called Kelly’s “gutless” departure from Notre Dame while the Irish are still in College Football Playoff contention, some fans weren’t about to let go of the old story: