Saturday, December 12, 2009

Kelly has 5-minute plan for Irish

Associated Press
Brian Kelly has his dream job. Now he has to figure out how to turn a Notre Dame program mired in mediocrity back into a national championship contender. Fast.
Just as he did when he was introduced as the Cincinnati coach three years ago, Kelly talked at his introductory news conference Friday about having a five-minute plan, not a five-year plan that reflects the length of his contract.
"When I refer to the challenge, it's strictly getting to that high bar that's been set at Notre Dame," he told a standing-room crowd of 200 people, including his family. "We've got challenges, but we'll go to work on those right away."
Kelly left an undefeated team that is ranked No. 4, bound for the Sugar Bowl and may have been 1 second away from playing for the national title. Kelly wouldn't say how far away he thinks his new team is from that level.
"These young men want to win, and that's why I'm here," he said. "I want to be around men that are committed, and we can't trade anybody. There's no waiver wire. We're going to develop our players, and they're going to play their very best for us. That to me has always been the most important principle. Let's go. Don't tell me what you don't have. I don't want to know about it. Tell me what you can do to help us win."
More than bragging rights: Army is tired of ending its season against Navy - it wants to keep playing and get stationed in a bowl game.
The orders are clear. Beat Navy today in Philadelphia in the 110th meeting of the annual patriotic rivalry game and the Black Knights (5-6) will play Temple in the EagleBank Bowl at RFK Stadium in Washington on Dec. 29.
Army's season is over with a loss, with UCLA getting the bowl bid.
The Black Knights have long been out of the bowl mix or even been considered a threat to beat Navy (8-4). The Midshipmen have turned the passionate series into a lopsided affair - seven straight wins by a 274-71 margin. Navy is 53-49-7 overall against Army for its biggest lead in a series that began in 1890.
Safe, barely: Illinois fired almost half of Ron Zook's staff but said the fifth-year head coach will keep his job in spite of a 3-9 season - the second-straight losing year for the Illini.

This article appeared on page B - 6 of the San Francisco Chronicle


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