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Brian Kelly announced Saturday evening that he will remain the coach at Notre Dame.

Kelly decides to stay at Notre Dame

Brian Kelly will remain at Notre Dame.

The Irish coach released a statement Saturday evening saying he will return to the program that he led to a 12-1 record and a spot in the BCS championship game this season.

"This week, I had an incredible opportunity to speak with one of the premier organizations in sports about becoming their head coach," Kelly said in the statement.

"Like every kid who has ever put on a pair of football cleats, I have had thoughts about being a part of the NFL. However, after much reflection and conversation with those closest to me, I have decided to remain at Notre Dame.

"This decision was motivated purely by my love for Notre Dame and the entire Fighting Irish community, the young men I have the great fortune to coach, and my desire to continue to build the best football program in the country. We still have a lot of work to do and my staff and I are excited about the challenges ahead."

Kelly interviewed with the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday about their coaching vacancy before going on vacation.

He returns to team that he has guided to a 28-11 record over the past three seasons and that finished No. 4 in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll and No. 3 in the USA Today coaches poll after losing to Alabama 42-14 in the title game.

"I was always confident that Brian would continue to lead our football program, I am very happy to have that confirmed and share Brian's excitement about what lies ahead for our program," Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick said in a statement. "I appreciate the Eagles reaching out to request permission to speak with Brian, and I also appreciate Brian keeping me fully informed throughout this process. We all look forward to what's ahead for Notre Dame football."

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