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Kelly to coach Bearcats in International Bowl

CINCINNATI -- For a second time this season, Brian Kelly will oppose Western Michigan in a football game.

One day after being named Cincinnati's new football coach, Kelly on Tuesday learned his first game with the Bearcats will come at the International Bowl next month.

Kelly guided Central Michigan to a 9-4 record and Mid-American Conference championship this season. The Chippewas, who will face Middle Tennessee in the Motor City Bowl on Dec. 26, beat Western Michigan -- Cincinnati's bowl opponent Jan. 6 -- 31-7 on Nov. 10.

"Our goal was to put the best opportunity for success on the sidelines for our student-athletes," Bearcats athletic director Mike Thomas said. "Coach Kelly and his staff have a wealth of knowledge regarding our opponent in the International Bowl and are ready to lead our team against Western Michigan. I am excited that we have Cincinnati coaches leading our Bearcats on the field as that is how it should be."

It is not the first time that a new coach has taken over a team after the regular season and led that squad in a bowl. David Cutcliffe did so for Mississippi after the 1998 campaign, guiding the Rebels to an Independence Bowl win over Texas Tech.

In 16 seasons as a coach, Kelly has compiled a 137-51-2 record. He is replacing Mark Dantonio, who left to take the Michigan State job after three seasons in Cincinnati.