"He doesn’t want to give Kelly a chance at the playoffs. He wants to give him chances.
The reinvestment in Kelly and his staff this winter – new offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, special teams coordinator and strength coach – was not made under threat of a one-year ultimatum.
“We had a decision to make at the end of last year,” Swarbrick told Irish Illustrated. “We made a decision to go long.
“You can’t attract the people that we attracted if they’re worried that it’s a one-year experiment. We’re looking for progress. We want to be better this year, but (also) clearly see a trajectory where we’re going to get back to national championship contention. Everything I see now gives me great encouragement that we’re on that road."
We're entering year 8, and we're still "down the road" and playing the long game, to get to our goals.
By the time Kelly reaches the end of this proverbial new road (and most likely still hasn't delivered us a title), he'll become the longest tenured coach in ND history with the most wins. Everyone needs to think long and hard about this. Kelly could become our "greatest" or "winningest" coach of all time, all while never coming close to winning a title at ND.
Games Coached at ND
Holtz - 132
Rockne - 122
Parseghian - 116
Leahy - 107
Kelly - 90
If Kelly makes 3 straight bowl games, he'll pass Holtz during the 2020 season for most games coached in ND history. He'll pass Leahy next year, he'll tie Ara after 2018, and pass Ara and Rock during the 2019 season.
If he averages 8 wins a year (his current average), he'd pass Rockne and Holtz during the 2022 season. He'll pass Leahy during the 2020 season and Ara during the 2021 season. While that seems a long way out, he'd pass Leahy in 3 seasons after this one.
If he averages 10-3
He'll pass Leahy in 2019, Ara in 2020, Lou and Rockne in 2021
Those seem like they are long off. They are not.
*** this assume we win our appeal on some technicality about being an athletic department employee who isn't a tutor versus one who is.