Bobby Bowden’s influence on Brian Kelly

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Few have ever done it as well or for as long particularly in one place as legendary Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden who died last at the age of 91 last month.

Bowden and current Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly never crossed paths but that didn’t keep Kelly from finding Bowden as a source of influence.

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I never had the privilege of meeting coach Bowden, but I can tell you that his influence on coaching was real,” said Kelly, “I think every coach would tell you that.”

Kelly is among the many that certainly admire the longevity Bowden had in Tallahassee.

“Being committed to that school and building a winning program, a program that won every single year, that’s so impressive to do it year in and year out.”

It may seem like Kelly has been at Notre Dame forever and by University standards he has as only Knute Rockne coached longer, but he’s got 23 years to go if he wants to match Bowden’s run of 34 seasons at Florida State.

It was another thing about Bowden that Kelly especially hopes to mirror, though.

“I think he goes down as one of those icons in coaching as having that fatherly mentor relationship with his players that many, many coaches would love to have with their players.”

Kelly and Notre Dame get their 2021 season started Sunday night at Florida State.

Related:

2021 Notre Dame season predictions from the FIW staff

Related – Notre Dame sets depth chart vs. Florida State