Notre Dame's Brian Kelly a hit in Miami, caps day being honored at Vitale Gala

ND Insider Staff Report
ND Insider

Brian Kelly found himself roughly 3.5 miles from the University of Miami campus on Friday.

On purpose.

And the Notre Dame head football coach was a hit by all accounts, something he wouldn’t mind repeating six months from now, when the Irish visit Miami’s Hurricanes in nearby Miami Gardens, Fla.

Kelly’s mission Friday was a speaking engagement before the Notre Dame Club of Miami at a luncheon  held at the Coral Gables Country Club. The appearance was a reward for Miami’s group winning the 2015 Outstanding Club of the Year Award.

The Outstanding Club of the Year Award is presented to one ND club among the 270 around the world which has excelled above others in support of the university’s mission and in service to its local constituents. Per club president Danny Yanez, 75 members attended the event.

The club itself is a cool comeback story. Yanez, a 2008 ND graduate, has led a revival after the club was nearly dormant.  

There has been a 300 percent spike in membership and 7,400 percent increase in donation revenue 7,400 since 2014, according to Yanez.

Kelly capped the day in Sarasota, Fla., as an honoree at the 12th Annual Dick Vitale Gala supporting the V Foundation for Cancer Research.

The sold-out event drew hundreds of supporters to The Ritz Carlton Sarasota to further groundbreaking advancements in pediatric cancer research. The event raised a record $3.12 million.

Kelly was honored for co-founding The Kelly Cares Foundation with wife Paqui. The wide-ranging charity was inspired by Paqui being a two-time breast cancer survivor and the desire to give back.

Among other attendees with Notre Dame ties were men’s basketball coach Mike Brey along with former ND football players Brady Quinn, Ryan Harris, Ron Powlus, Autry Denson, Todd Lyght, Marc Edwards, Jeff Faine, Derrick Mayes and Thomas Krug.

Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly speaks to the ND Club of Miami on Friday as a reward for the group winning the 2015 Outstanding Club of the Year Award. (Photo courtesy of Supanik Photography)