"Chuck Martin on offense, I wanted a voice that went back with me to Grand Valley State. And with Bob Diaco someone that goes back to Central Michigan with me. So yeah, it was important to get that voice right."
The last change Kelly needed to make involved Xs and Os. Kelly wanted to win now, but with a first-year starter and redshirt freshmen at quarterback. He had to adjust his style.
Out went the push-the-pace offense that had helped him reach two BCS games at Cincinnati. In came a more deliberate approach.
"We conduct the game differently," Martin said. "We set out how we thought this team could win with the personnel we had and with the young quarterback. Most people say 'OK, you're going to play the young guy, you're playing for the future.' We just went 12-0 with the young guy and he got yanked four times.
"The rest of the world wants 12-0 with no warts. We have plenty of warts. Somehow we're 12-0. Just goes to show the job (Kelly) did that we made it work week in and week out with what we have."
Kelly's ability and willingness to adapt have been his greatest strengths.
"He made some of his biggest changes ever in the last year. Going away from some things that really were his bread and butter, and 12-0 later, the guy did it again," Martin said.
"He saw what Notre Dame football needed in 2012 and he got to know this university."
Follow Ralph D. Russo at www.Twitter.com/ralphdrussoap
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