Like all good coaches, Brian Kelly knows what lies ahead. The college football world has wanted a definitive answer for a while now as to why the ex-Notre Dame coach has changed jobs, cultures and, um, accents to take over as LSU’s new coach.
“The million dollar question, right?” Kelly told a visitor. “It only took, what, 3 minutes [to ask]?”
Actually, it was 6 minutes into the conversation. You want to ease into the tough queries with a subject such as Kelly, though he was glad to oblige.
“Did you walk in downstairs and see the training table?” he asks from his second-floor office.
Of course. You can’t miss executive chef Michael Johnson’s elaborate layout on the bottom floor of the LSU Football Operations Building. Johnson is so talented and so dedicated that he travels out days ahead of time for road games as sort of a culinary quality control coach. Johnson once ran into undercooked chicken prepared at a team hotel. This being the uber-competitive SEC, he wasn’t sure it was an accident.
“Did you walk into the Gug?” Kelly followed up, referring to Notre Dame’s Guglielmino Athletics Complex. “There is no training table. We bring food in from the cafeteria. You get a sack lunch, a box lunch.”
Kelly wasn’t done.
“That building had been built not to service those areas. That wasn’t the vision the university had. I don’t have a problem with that. They had built that building to meet and locker and that’s it. We had outgrown that. I had asked for that to be addressed in 2016, and we were at 2022.”