Based on on-the-field performance, one can argue that the University of Notre Dame football program has not been relevant in 17 years. And, the storied program has not won a national championship in 22 years, since a perfect 12-0 season in 1988 under the leadership of Coach Lou Holtz.
Four coaches have come and gone since Holtz resigned in 1996; one of them, George O'Leary, only lasted a couple days before being forced to resign when false information on his resume came to light.
Now, Brian Kelly takes the helm, with a resume of significant and long-term success at several programs. Will he be the man to "Wake up the Echoes" which have been slumbering for two decades?
I think he will. Whether or not Coach Kelly will win a national title is uncertain, but there should be every expectation that he will make Notre Dame relevant again (on the field that is). I will be surprised if Notre Dame does not become a consistent and legitimate national title contender under Coach Kelly's tutelage.
Despite being greatly disappointed by the last four coaches, I dare to be not only optimistic, but enthusiastic, about Notre Dame's prospects moving forward.
To paraphrase a favorite President of mine, who just happened to play the role Notre Dame legend George Gipp in the movie, "Knute Rockne, All American: " It is morning on Notre Dame's campus!
NBC's promo for the upcoming Notre Dame football season: