Notre Dame

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Notre Dame

A short time after Brian Kelly told the media Saturday he "absolutely" wanted to be back at Notre Dame, Yahoo Sports and ESPN reported the seventh-year Irish coach was exploring his options of leaving his post in South Bend for another job. 

Early Sunday morning, Kelly — who is staying in California for a few days to recruit following Notre Dame's 45-27 season-ending loss to USC — released a statement pushing back on those two reports.

"I felt that I was clear with the media following yesterday’s game at USC when I was asked about my desire to be back as the head football coach at Notre Dame," Kelly said. "But in light of media reports that surfaced afterward, let me restate my position. I have not been, am not, and will not be interested in options outside of Notre Dame. I’m fully committed to learning this program in the future."

In addition to the Yahoo and ESPN reports, Football Scoop posted this to Twitter Saturday night:

While Notre Dame sunk to a 4-8 record in 2016, seven of those losses were by eight points or fewer, and even with Saturday's 18-point loss at USC, the Irish lost those eight games by an average of 6.3 points. That almost all of the losses were close doesn't absolve Kelly, but it is something players have pointed to as to why they've continued to support their coach this season. 

"I think it’s been cool to see guys really support him and he’s done such a good job of responding to our situation," defensive end and captain Isaac Rochell said last Tuesday. "And I think what’s happened now is only going to help us next year. And I think in some ways, our team had to go through this to learn to respect him and for him to learn to respect us, and it’s been really good. Not that it wasn’t there before. But in times like this you gotta figure it out. So it’s been really good."