Many Notre Dame coaches have traded in their blue and gold for Mad Anthonys Red Coats in the past and Friday night it was Brian Kelly’s turn to join the club.
The Fighting Irish head football coach was among two recipients of the prestigious award handed out annually at the Mad Anthonys Annual Charity Dinner held in Fort Wayne.
The charity raises money for the Children’s Hope House in Northeast Indiana that provides families of injured or sick children a place to stay while their child is in the hospital.
During Kelly’s acceptance of the award, former Notre Dame players Tyler Eifert, John Goodman and Zack Martin helped their the Irish coach put on his new jacket.
"The tradition of Mad Anthonys and what they have done as a charitable organization is what my wife and I have been about with our foundation," said Kelly. "Anytime you’re up for an award like this it’s very humbling and to know the tradition of Mad Anthonys and the Red Coat makes it a pretty special evening."
Of course plenty of Fighting Irish fans were among those in the crowd at Friday’s event and of course they wanted to pick Kelly’s brain about what to expect this coming season.
"I’m really pleased by the focus and the single minded focus of championship play," said Kelly. "There’s no talk about anything other than winning a national championship. When you get your players living it and talking about it every single day then you know you’ve got the program in the right position."
The Mad Anthonys Foundation festivities continue Saturday afternoon with a charity golf outing.