Kelly receives two-year extension

Notre Dame extended Brian Kelly's contract two years Tuesday, keeping the head coach under contract through the 2016 season.

"While Coach Kelly and I are focused on the additional work that must be done to reach our goals, I am very pleased with the progress we have made during the past two years," Notre Dame vice president and athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in a statement. "Our football team's performance on the field, in the classroom, and in the community reflect Coach Kelly's commitment to building a program that will be able to sustain success in the long run, and to doing so in a manner consistent with Notre Dame's values and tradition."

The Irish have gone 8-5 in each of Kelly's first two seasons at Notre Dame. They finished this season with an 18-14 loss to Florida State on Dec. 29 in the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

Notre Dame announced contract extensions Jan. 2 for its six returning assistant coaches.

"I want to thank [school president] Father [John] Jenkins and Jack Swarbrick for their unwavering support of me the last two years," Kelly said in a statement. "My family and I are truly blessed to be at Notre Dame and we are excited about what the future holds for the Fighting Irish football team. I also want to thank Father John and Jack for the commitment they made to the football program last week by renewing the contracts of our assistant coaches. I think we have one of the finest coaching staffs in the country at Notre Dame, and the confidence our administration has shown in us is truly appreciated."

Assistants Tim Hinton (running backs) and Ed Warinner (offensive line/running game coordinator) left the program last week. Scott Booker was promoted from offensive intern to full-time assistant, though his duties have not yet been announced.

Notre Dame has yet to announce any new hires.

"The quality of the assistant coaches that Coach Kelly has brought to Notre Dame is evident both in their performance and the interest that other schools have shown in them since the end of the regular season" Swarbrick said in a statement. "Building on the foundation we have now created and maintaining continuity is critical to the future success of our football program, and that is why we have secured the continued service of our football staff."

Kelly's extension should momentarily quell whatever premature concerns there might be about his job security two years in and help form an image of stability moving forward. Of course, Kelly's predecessor, Charlie Weis, received a 10-year extension just seven games into his Notre Dame career and was let go after season five.