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 SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly has been rewarded for getting the Fighting Irish to the national championship game in January with a new five-year deal.
Kelly said the contract signifies to him that he and the university officials are ``all in it together.''
``So when we come to an agreement, it's not necessarily that within it that I get a lunch stipend on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It's about that we're all together in this contract about moving the program forward. We decided by signing this contract, we're all in this together. That's what I was looking for,'' he said.
The university has made a number of changes in the program since he became coach, including instituting a training table to make sure players are getting proper nutrition and changing some longstanding pregame routine, such as moving the pregame Mass from Saturday to Friday. He also talked Thursday about how he will be involved in the conversation when players are facing potential disciplinary action, something former past coaches have complained about.
When asked Thursday about wanting a voice in such situations, Kelly answered: ``I don't know that I want a voice. I just want to be part of the conversation. I think the communication is what I'm interested in more than anything else,'' he said.
Kelly said he was ``100 percent'' behind the university's student code policies, saying he knows he's not going to change those, but said he wants to be able to tell parents that he will be an advocate for their sons.
``This about how you run a program year in and year out,'' he said.
The contract announcement came on a day when Notre Dame beat Temple 28-6, giving Kelly 200 career wins.
``It ensures that Brian will continue to provide leadership that has fundamentally changed this program, restored it, given it the foundation it needs for continue success in the future,'' athletic director Jack Swarbrick said. ``We could not be more pleased.''
Kelly had said four weeks ago that a new deal was ``imminent.'' Swarbrick had announced in January after Kelly led the Irish to a 12-0 record and the national championship game against Alabama that the school was working on a contract extension. Kelly interviewed for the Philadelphia Eagles job the day after the BCS game in January.
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