BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — LSU football coach Brian Kelly called Louisiana home, described what makes an optimal football team and his thoughts on Name, Image, and Likeness at Wednesday’s Rotary Club.
Kelly, a Massachusetts native, said he’s already calling Louisiana home, saying it’s the love of football and the food that drew him to south Louisiana.
“When you’re a football coach and you get an opportunity to be the head coach of LSU, it’s really simple for me,” said Kelly.
Just as simple as it was for him to move to Louisiana, he said he has a simple plan to lead LSU football. His plan includes putting together high-performance organizations with staff helping to develop, collaborate, and work together daily to help student-athletes achieve goals.
Kelly honed in on the importance of building a “player-led” team and culture. He said the results of this type of team culture can be seen on the field and in the classroom by fostering a positive teaching environment. To create champions, he said he aims to be “demanding never demeaning” and have student-athletes work on habits.
“When players are holding each other accountable on a day-to-day basis,” said Kelly. “When you’re working on helping them become better young men on a day-to-day basis. Better leaders.”
As for team training, the Tigers have been strictly outdoors. Kelly said there has been no indoor training to prepare for and acclimate to Louisiana’s hot weather conditions. The first practice will be on Aug. 4. Kelly said the Tigers’ football practice will have a seven-day climatization period.
“This is no longer a sprint, this is a marathon,” said Kelly. “Training has become so important to understand that the games that you play in November are equally important in September. You have to have your football team in a position where when they play all the way through the season, that they’re not worn down.”
Kelly touched on the topic of Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL). Last year, Governor John Bel Edwards signed a bill into Louisiana law that allows athletes to profit off their name, image, or likeness.
For Kelly, he has two main concerns when it comes to NIL. Despite his concerns, he said he is in favor of it but only if it is regulated properly.
“I think the intention of Name, Image, and Likeness in helping the student-athlete with that is outstanding,” said Kelly. “Obviously, it’s not regulated in a manner that I think everybody would like to see it regulated and we don’t want to use it as an inducement.”
Reports emerged of LSU’s plans to hire Kelly to replace former head coach Ed Orgeron in later November 2021. Kelly previously served 12 seasons at Notre Dame as head coach before choosing to leave the Irish for the Tigers. LSU Athletics said Kelly received a 10-year $95 million contract to coach the LSU Tigers.
The first LSU football game of the season is scheduled for Sept. 4 against Florida State in New Orleans.