Notre Dame coordinator compares Brian Kelly exit to ‘series’
Notre Dame offensive coordinator Tommy Rees felt like he was in an episode of “series” for three whole days before Brian Kelly’s sudden departure for LSU.
During an turn up Tuesday on Barstool Chicago’s “Red Line Radio” podcast, Rees gave a behind-the-scenes look at how Kelly broke the news that he was leaving Notre Dame after 12 years as head coach.
“I was with two of our assistant coaches and he told us, ‘Hey guys, I’m going to LSU. We’ll drop you guys off and I’m getting another flight back to South Bend. I want to get with the team as soon as I can,’” Rees recalled.
Brian Kelly coaches for Notre Dame in November 2019.Getty Images
“So that was a very quiet plane ride… for the next like three days it was like I was in the show ‘series,’ trying to figure out which side of the fence to fall on… It was like private jets, private phone calls, black cars, midnight meetings, bourbon,” he continued.
Kelly, who replaced Ed Orgeron, signed a deal with LSU worth a reported $100 million over 10 years.
Rees continued to reference the popular HBO series on Tuesday, which follows the devious and wealthy Roy family, who are regularly scheming behind each other’s backs in pursuit of strength.
Brian Cox stars as Logan Roy in HBO’s “series.”Peter Kramer/HBO
“From Sunday morning to Wednesday mid-afternoon it was the most stressful time I’ve had, and seriously, the only thing I can compare it to is an episode of ‘series.’ … It was like a whole thing of, where do I fall in this whole situation? So when I was with coach Kelly and all the boys, I’m like, ‘I’m clearly Greg, the cousin,’” Rees additional, calling out star Nicholas Braun’s character.
In the midst of the commotion that Kelly’s exit caused, Rees — a former Irish quarterback under Kelly from 2010-13 — was reportedly courted to join Kelly at LSU.
Kelly broke the news of his departure to Notre Dame staff and players on the night of Nov. 29, according to an image obtained by The Athletic.
Notre Dame’s Tommy Rees in November 2013.Getty Images
“Men… Let me first apologize for the late night text and, more importantly, for not being able to proportion the news with you in person that I will be leaving Notre Dame,” the message read.
“I am flying back to South Bend tonight to be able to meet with you in the morning but the news broke late today and I am sorry you found out by social media or news reports.”
One week before his Irish exit, Kelly shut down the idea of leaving Notre Dame while speaking to reporters.
Notre Dame has since promoted defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to replace Kelly as head coach.
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