Brian Kelly of Notre Dame overtakes Knute Rockne as most successful coach in Fighting Irish history


Brian Kelly of Notre Dame became the most successful coach in program history on Saturday after his No.12 Fighting Irish defeated No.18 Wisconsin 41-13 at Soldier Field in Chicago on Saturday afternoon . Kelly not only continued her quest for a second straight college football playoff appearance, but also carved her name in stone in the history of the program.

The victory was Kelly’s 106th career at Notre Dame, breaking the previous record of 105 wins set by legendary coach and 1951 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Knute Rockne.

Kelly arrived at Notre Dame ahead of the 2010 season after four successful years in Cincinnati. Since then, he has recorded six double-digit winning seasons, four of them in a row, while leading his team to the college football playoffs twice and finishing in the AP’s Top 25 seven times.

He eclipsed Rockne’s mark, which was established over 13 years from 1918 to 1930. During that time, Rockne won three national championships, recorded five seasons unbeaten, and ended his career with a 105- 12-5 at Notre Dame.

“Obviously it was about consistency – having good coaches and good players,” Kelly said after the game. “… The journey is much more important than the victories.”

Here’s a look at how the two coaches stack up against each other in numbers.

Knute Rockne

13 (1918-30)





Brian kelly 12 (2010-present) 106 0 6 5-5

The record-breaking match for Kelly, however, was not without stress. The Fighting Irish struggled to get things done and quarterback Jack Coan, who transferred from Wisconsin ahead of the 2021 season, was knocked out of the game in the third quarter. Coan was replaced by Drew Pyne, who completed 6 of 8 passes for 81 yards and a touchdown. The Fighting Irish moved away in the fourth quarter in an impressive second-half performance, thanks in large part to a pair of back-to-back pick-sixes.

The win brings Kelly’s all-time record at Grand Valley State, Central Michigan, Cincinnati and Notre Dame to 277-96-2.

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