Kelly first two-time Home Depot Coach of the Year winnerPublished 11:28pm Wednesday, December 5, 2012
The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award will be presented to Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly as a part of The Home Depot College Football Awards Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.
Kelly was named the recipient in 2009 coaching for Cincinnati and is the first two-time winner of The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award. In addition, The John Mackey Award will also recognize its first Fighting Irish winner, Tyler Eifert as outstanding tight end during The Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show.
In his third season at Notre Dame, Kelly led the Irish to a perfect 12-0 record for the first time since 1988 and the second time in school history. His team’s 28 victories over his first three years are tied for the most by any Notre Dame coach and he is the first Irish coach since ESPN analyst Lou Holtz’s 1994-96 seasons to register winning records over three straight seasons.
Kelly’s Irish have won at least eight games in each of his first three seasons on the Notre Dame sidelines. That record surpasses wins from Lou Holtz, Ara Parseghian, Frank Leahy and Knute Rockne, who combined to win 10 consensus National Championships. Parseghian is also being recognized during the show with the NCFAA Contribution to College Football Award.
Notre Dame has already won four more games than they won last year heading into the Discover National BCS Championship game. The Irish will play No. 2 Alabama for their 12th national title Jan. 7 on ESPN.
The Irish are looking for their first undefeated season since 1988, also the year of their last National Championship.
The Fighting Irish continue to make award show history with The John Mackey Award. Eifert, a senior, has been named the country’s outstanding tight end and is the first Notre Dame player to receive the award. Eifert will be presented with the trophy during The Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show Thursday at 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
The award recognizes not only outstanding athletic prowess on the field, but also sportsmanship, good academic standing and exceptional leadership abilities. Eifert is not only the first player from Notre Dame to win the Mackey award, but also the first player to win and play for the National Championship in the same season. Thirty-one of his 44 catches this season have resulted in a touchdown or first down and he leads the Irish with 12 receptions of at least 20 yards.
The Rimington Trophy (outstanding center) will also be presented during The Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show. Mario Benavides (Louisville), Braxston Cave (Notre Dame), Dalton Freeman (Clemson), Khaled Holmes (USC), Barrett Jones (Alabama) and Matt Stankiewitch (Penn State) were named finalists on Monday.