Coach Kelly 'went back to the homeland' with family vacation in Ireland
Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly puts in countless hours each season, so it's important for him to enjoy a little down time when possible. Last July, as a celebration of their 25th wedding anniversary, Coach Kelly, his wife Paqui and their three children took a vacation to Ireland.
"I went back to the home land, went to Ireland," Coach Kelly said.
The Kelly clan, Brian, Paqui, Patrick, Grace and Kenzel, made the 3500 mile trek for the family get away.
"It had been a while since we had done our last family trip. So it was a lot of fun and took a lot of planning on his part. I was surprised because it was one of those things I said a while back. He showed me in February like here, here’s the deal and I was like, ‘Yeah! Alright, we’re going,’" Paqui said.
The Kellys spent 11 days in Ireland as a family and then just Brian and Paqui spent 5 days in Scotland.
"We really did everything from concerts, we did the River Dance production, which is from there originally in Dublin. We were all over the place, we were in Dublin, in the Limerick area, we went to Cork, so I mean we really made our rounds in terms of different places we were at," Paqui said.
"I think one of the things that stood out for us was that we got to meet the all-time winningest Irish hurling coach. Irish hurling is a very popular sport in Ireland itself and we met the winningest coach and the all-time great player. It was like meeting Michael Jordan and Bill Belichick all in one day in the town of Kilkenny," Coach Kelly said.
Hurling is a cross between lacrosse and hockey. A mutual friend made the connection with Coach Brian Cody, who has 11 championships to his credit.
"They taught us how to play hurling and it's amazing. You hit the ball, you move it with a wooden stick and you move it up and down the field. Fast game, you catch it with your hand, great athletes. I urge you to YouTube 'Irish Hurling Game' and you would be blown away. I would take at least 10 of them on my team right now," Coach Kelly said.
The Kellys also slowed down their pace to enjoy 11 rounds of golf.
But the best part of the trip had little to do with sightseeing
"I think what we took away from it was you can indeed sit down as a family and have a meal today in our society. I don't think we've done that in many, many years, so that was kind of nice to sit down as a whole family and have a meal together," Coach Kelly said.
The concert they went to see was Hall and Oates, the 80s band.