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Brian Kelly wronged NY Jets head coach Robert Saleh years ago

By Kristen Wong
NY Jets, Robert Saleh
NY Jets, Robert Saleh / Elsa/GettyImages
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Come for the Brian Kelly controversy, stay for the Robert Saleh villain origin story.

Most know recent LSU hire Brian Kelly as an extremely successful football coach at Notre Dame, but NY Jets head coach Robert Saleh knows Kelly for a different reason altogether.

The story starts with current Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur and Saleh getting invited to Kelly's house. At the time, Kelly was the head coach at Central Michigan University and LaFleur and Saleh were part of Kelly's staff as assistants.

Saleh told ESPN back in 2019 that he thought he and LaFleur were invited to a party at Kelly's house in Michigan. Instead, Kelly put them to work as menial laborers and valets for the night.

"We shoveled the snow and parked all the cars. Then, at the end of the night, we had to go get the cars again...We decided that when we’re in that position, we’re never going to treat people the way we got treated."

Robert Saleh

Saleh's story about Kelly is just one of many anecdotes that have surfaced about the college coach's suspect record.

Kelly's tenure at Notre Dame has been marked by several scandals including a student's suicide in 2010 as well as another student's "negligent" death.

NY Jets' Robert Saleh recounts horrible story involving former Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly

But for all his indiscretions, Kelly is also the winningest coach in Fighting Irish history ever since he took over a little more than a decade ago.

Kelly called Saleh "special" back when they worked together at Central Michigan University, but he also hasn't held back in telling the public about Saleh's embarrassing moments.

As Saleh climbed his way up to the NFL, Kelly has served as an anti-role model of sorts, one who sets a bad example for how coaches should carry themselves.

Kelly agreed to a 10-year, $95 million deal with LSU on Tuesday and is set to be officially introduced at a press conference on Wednesday.

Saleh, for his part, still has the rest of the Jets' season to look forward to — no shiny new contract, no bonus, just coaching a team with a losing record (but a whole lot of high draft picks).

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The Jets coach has made a point out of not following in Kelly's shoes, and despite the team's 3-8 record, Saleh can take pride in his own small victories this season.

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