Top 100 - 2011

Brian Kelly

Hugely successful at Grand Valley State, Central Michigan and Cincinnati, Brian Kelly has begun to wake up the echoes and restore the glory days of football at the University of Notre Dame. Though the Fighting Irish got off to a shaky start last year, with losses to Navy and Tulsa, they came back with a vengeance, defeating Utah, Army, Southern California and Miami. The Irish’s 33-17 win against Miami in the Sun Bowl made Kelly the first Notre Dame coach to bring home a bowl victory in his first season.

Kelly was born in Everett, Massachusetts, and was raised in an Irish-American Catholic family in Chelsea, Massachusetts. His grandfather was a Boston police officer for 35 years and Kelly told Irish America that he was the one who introduced him to Irish culture.

In addition to coaching the Irish, Kelly is also dedicated to fighting cancer. After Paqui, his wife, battled breast cancer twice, the couple established the Kelly Cares Foundation to promote cancer research and education and to give back to the community.