Brian Kelly passes Knute Rockne for most wins by Notre Dame coach

Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly. (Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly. (Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports) /

Brian Kelly passed all-time great Knute Rockne to take the lead for most wins by a Notre Dame head coach with a victory over Wisconsin.

Brian Kelly is now the winningest coach in the history of Notre Dame football.

The Fighting Irish defeated Wisconsin to improve to 4-0 on the 2021 season, giving Kelly his 106th victory.

Not even a Gatorade shower could stop Kelly from giving thanks to all the players and fellow coaches that helped him reach this milestone.

“The journey itself is much more important than the wins, and I just feel so blessed to have the ability to coach these guys., Kelly told FOX’s Jenny Taft after the game.”

Saturday’s victory boosted Kelly over legendary head coach Knute Rockne, whose record of 105-12-5 from 1918 to 1930 stood the test of time.

Notre Dame football: Who is Knute Rockne?

Rockne no longer holds the most victories in ND history, but he’s still the greatest head coach in program history. He built the program, in fact, winning three national championships and posting five undefeated seasons.

It was Rockne who fielded the famous “Four Horsemen” and arranged the classic rivalry with USC.

Sadly, Rockne’s Notre Dame win total never rose higher than 105 victories because of tragic circumstances. In 1931, fresh off a national championship, the coach was killed in a plane crash.

Kelly seems to recognize that he can’t compete with Rockne’s legacy, even if he’s taken his wins record.

“I can tell you exactly where I sit in Notre Dame history,” Kelly told CBS Sports. “The coach that won more games that hasn’t won a national championship. That’s where I’ll sit.”

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