One day after his Notre Dame team got thrashed in the BCS Championship Game, Brian Kelly turned his attention toward a move to the next level.
Kelly met with the Philadelphia Eagles about their vacant head-coaching job, according to a person informed of the meeting between the parties.
The person, who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because the Eagles haven't confirmed the meeting, said Kelly is not currently in the country and will once again speak to the team when he returns.
ESPN and FoxSports.com were first to report the news on Kelly's meeting with the Eagles.
Kelly did what Charlie Weis, Tyrone Willingham and Bob Davie were unable to do before him by returning the Fighting Irish to national prominence with wins in the team's first 12 games this season. But the 42-14 loss to the Crimson Tide supported the claims of the doubters who believe the program still doesn't have the talent to compete on a big stage with some of the powerhouses in the big conferences.
It's unclear how interested Kelly is in leaving Notre Dame after three seasons in which he's posted a 28-11 record.
Before the BCS championship, Kelly did not shut the door when asked about possible NFL jobs. While calling Notre Dame "the best job in the country — NFL, college, high school, whatever" — Kelly said he would be flattered by potential interest from NFL teams but followed a "strict protocol."
"They have to contact my representation and then they've got to follow through that," Kelly said.
The Eagles are believed to be serious in their pursuit of Kelly, as they were in chasing Oregon's Chip Kelly and Penn State's Bill O'Brien. Those two returned to their programs, while Doug Marrone left Syracuse to join the Buffalo Bills. The Eagles were interested in speaking to Marrone.
"I think the NFL right now tends to borrow more from college than the other way around," Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said. "But I think it's more about leadership. Some of these coaches in college are outstanding leaders. And they just go from a younger roster to a slightly older roster — still the average age is, what 26, 27, 25 in the NFL? They are dealing with 19, 20 year-olds. It's not that big of a difference.
"There's no question, and I'm not the only one who thinks that college coaches are well-trained and have experienced tremendous pressure, and can handle it. And they're smart."