Brian Kelly has changed a lot of things in South Bend since his hiring as the head coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in December of 2009. Many of those changes have to do with the play on the field or the way the Irish recruit, but there are also many MANY changes that we have seen under his reign that involve a wider array of things at Notre Dame.
We have fieldturf, a jumbotron, the jerseys have changed, the helmets have changed, and of course... Notre Dame’s attitude towards rivalry trophies have changed.
Even as recently as 2005, many Irish fans had no idea Notre Dame even had some of these rivalry trophies when then head coach Charlie Weis said as much after the 2005 loss to the Michigan State Spartans. It was kind of weird to have all of these things, and yet — no one at Notre Dame seemed to care much at all.
Brian Kelly has made it a much bigger priority during his time. He even had a trophy case built for outside his office to display these Trophies. Notre Dame now goes to great care to promote and celebrate these pieces of hardware (even if they still won’t permit them on the field).
Some of the biggest proof of these changes though was after the win at Michigan State last year. Brian Kelly yelled, screamed, and danced with the Megaphone Trophy like it was the greatest thing on earth (and that night it certainly was).
So, it should come as no surprise that he again made the Legends Trophy, that was on the table this week with the Stanford Cardinal in town, a priority. It should also come as no surprise that he had his own bit of fun with the thing after Notre Dame’s dominating 38-17 win over Stanford.
Say what you will of Brian Kelly, but I applaud his efforts and his celebration tactics with these great pieces of hardware that help make college football so awesome.