Notre Dame's Kelly says he'll 'absolutely' be back next year

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly yells to his team during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Southern California, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/AP

LOS ANGELES (AP) Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly is confident he will be back next year after the Fighting Irish wrapped up a disappointing season with a blowout loss at Southern California on Saturday.

Kelly won at least eight games in each of his first six seasons, but the Irish finished 4-8 this season, culminating in a 45-27 loss to the No. 12 Trojans.

Kelly scrapped his usual late-November itinerary of recruiting in California after facing the Trojans to return to South Bend, but says it's not related to Notre Dame's struggles.

''I don't believe I'm coming back early because I'm getting fired,'' Kelly said.

Asked if he wanted to coach Notre Dame next season, Kelly said, ''Oh yeah, absolutely. I'll be back.''

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