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Kelly gets contract extension

Irish head coach Brian Kelly will be on Notre Dame's payroll for at least the next four years. The university announced Tuesday afternoon that Kelly signed a two-year extension that will keep him under contract until 2016.

Kelly originally signed a four-year contract with Notre Dame in 2010 with an option to extend for the extra two years. He did enough in his first two seasons leading the Irish to impress athletic director Jack Swarbrick.

"While Coach Kelly and I are focused on the additional work that must be done to reach our goals, I am very pleased with the progress we have made during the past two years," Swarbrick said in an official release.

"Our football team's performance on the field, in the classroom and in the community reflect Coach Kelly's commitment to building a program that will be able to sustain success in the long run, and to doing so in a manner consistent with Notre Dame's values and tradition."

Notre Dame also inked many of Kelly's assistant coaches to extensions during the first week of January. Swarbrick said maintaining continuity on the staff was a top priority after three assistant coaches fled South Bend after the end of the 2011 season.

Kelly also released a statement thanking the school for its loyalty.

"“I want to thank Father Jenkins and Jack Swarbrick for their unwavering support of me the last two years,” he said. “My family and I are truly blessed to be at Notre Dame and we are excited about what the future holds for the Fighting Irish football team. I also want to thank Father John and Jack for the commitment they made to the football program last week by renewing the contracts of our assistant coaches. I think we have one of the finest coaching staffs in the country at Notre Dame, and the confidence our administration has shown in us is truly appreciated.”

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