Going 1-on-1 with Notre Dame's Brian Kelly

Eric Hansen
South Bend Tribune

Editor’s Note: The following is a Q-and-A that Notre Dame football beat writer Eric Hansen conducted with Irish head football coach Brian Kelly earlier this year.

The best advice I’ve ever been given and from whom:

I could go on and on, on that one. I would say the best advice I’ve ever been given was pay attention to your own job. Take care of what you’re doing. The context would be stay focused on what you’re doing and don’t be distracted by things that are around you.

Fred Martinelli was a long-time head coach at Ashland College. He gave me that advice when I was a first-year head coach at Grand Valley State. I think he sensed me being a little overwhelmed as a head coach.

The one thing, those on the outside looking in, have the hardest time comprehending about the Notre Dame football head coaching job:

The amount of time spent recruiting.

My strangest pregame ritual:

I don’t eat meat.

The guy on the team who does the best impression of me:

Oh man, I’ve got a lot of those guys. I think Tarean Folston.

The rule in college football that needs an absolute makeover:

That would be targeting.

Take this conundrum for a second. The officials are told to throw the flag if they think it is. And then the video people are told: It’s got to be clear video evidence to overturn it. So you’re throwing the flag if you’re not sure. And you’re not overturning it, because you’re never going to be absolutely certain.

So essentially you’re throwing a kid out of the game, and you’re not really sure. Boy, that makes a lot of sense.

My favorite workout routine:

The StairMaster.

If I did nothing else but play golf, I would be:

Divorced. That I know, for sure. But I could be a scratch golfer along the way.

The best movie of all time:

Hoosiers.

The movie line I find myself walking around saying all the time:

I can’t think of one. The lines that I have are all stolen from somewhere. They just don’t happen to be from movies. Ask my son. My son can’t do his math, but he’s memorized every movie he’s ever seen. If he’d just use that (memory) for his calculus, he’d be a good student.

If they ever make a movie of my life, the actor who should play me is:

Matt Damon. He’s a Boston kind of guy. That’s clear.

The athlete with the most raw talent I have ever coached:

I would have to say at Central Michigan. His name was Obed Cetoute. He’s Canadian. He played up in the Canadian league. He’s like 6-foot-3, 215 pounds and ran 4.3 (in the 40-yard dash). He was the most athletic wide receiver that I’ve ever coached. He just couldn’t get out of his own way, though.

The player who most transcended his raw-talent quotient to be a star:

Tommy Rees.

The person whom I’ve never met but would like to:

From history? John F. Kennedy.

What my family would say is my most annoying trait:

I would say, just being on them about picking things up around the house and cleaning up all the time. Kind of picky about that.

If the Guglielmino Athletic Complex were on fire and I could grab only one thing out of my office, it would be:

That’s a great question. Probably take my family picture.

In season, how much I pay attention to the media on a daily basis:

I only pay attention to the media when I have to. So like when I’m in front of the media, I pay attention to the media. Other than that, I’m focused on football. I focus on the things that I’m required to focus on. So if I’m required to be involved with the media, then I’m focused. If I’m not required to, then I don’t.

The most valuable lesson I’ve learned at Notre Dame that I didn’t know walking in the door:

That you must say no to the requests that you get for your time.

If I weren’t a football coach today, I would be:

Probably in politics.

When people ask me whether I’ll ever coach in the NFL, I:

Tell them no.

ehansen@ndinsider.com

574-235-6112

Twitter: @EHansenNDI

When asked if he will ever coach in the NFL, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly (far right) just says no. (SBT Photo/BECKY MALEWITZ)