FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly added a fourth coach-of-the-year award Wednesday as his team arrived in Florida to prepare to play No. 2 Alabama (12-1) in the BCS championship game Monday.
Kelly, who guided the Irish to a 12-0 record and the No. 1 ranking, was named the Walter Camp Foundation Coach of the Year.
He is the first Notre Dame coach to receive the award.
Kelly already was named the Home Depot, Associated Press and FWAA/Eddie Robinson coach of the year.
The third-year Irish coach’s focus was on making sure his team enjoys its experience this week, while also keeping the focus on the Crimson Tide and the chance to bring Notre Dame its first national title since 1988.
We want to have fun while we are here too, Kelly said. But it’s a business trip. There is no question we are here to play the game.
Irish lure Florida running back recruit
Notre Dame added its 22nd commitment for the class of 2012 when it arrived at the site of the national title game.
Running back Tarean Folston, a 5-foot-10, 195-pounder from Cocoa (Fla.) High School, orally committed to the Irish.
He made his pledge on ESPN during preparation for the Under Armor All-American, which will be played Friday.
Bryan is rated a four-star prospect by ESPN, Rivals.com and Scout.com.
Crimson Tide All-American center Barrett Jones wore a walking boot to protect the left foot he sprained during the SEC championship but said he was ready to go. Reserve offensive lineman Arie Koundjio had to be treated for dehydration when the team’s plane landed. Tight end Harrison Jones did not travel with the team for what coach Nick Saban called medical reasons. He’s expected to arrive today.
Having some fun
While Notre Dame players will have an 11 p.m. curfew and Kelly continues to refer to playing in the national title game as a business trip, the Irish will be able to enjoy some experiences in south Florida.
Notre Dame attended Wednesday night’s NBA game in Miami between the defending champion Heat and Dallas Mavericks.
I want our guys to relax, Kelly said. We’ve done all our work. We’ve got some practices we’ve got to take care of, but I want them relaxed and ready to play.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.