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Brian Kelly will pass on NFL, stay at Notre Dame

The Philadelphia Eagles have been spurned by a high-profile college coach once again.

Notre Dame announced Saturday via Twitter that Brian Kelly will be staying at the school. CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman reported shortly before the announcement that Kelly would not be going anywhere.

"Like every kid who has ever put on a pair of football cleats, I have had thoughts about being a part of the NFL," Kelly said via the Chicago Sun-Times. "This decision was motivated purely by my love for Notre Dame and the entire Fighting Irish community, the young men I have the great fortune to coach, and my desire to continue to build the best football program in the country."

Kelly becomes the latest college coach to use an NFL team's interest to their own advantage. Penn State's Bill O'Brien and Oregon's Chip Kelly leveraged interviews with NFL teams to earn more money at their current school. (Not that we blame them.)

Reports in Philadelphia suggested Saturday that Kelly and Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley were the two leading candidates for the Eagles job. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reported that Kelly was Philadelphia's top choice.

Of course, Chip Kelly was Philadelphia's first choice. This has not been an encouraging start to the post-Andy Reid era for the Eagles.

UPDATE: The Eagles soon released an update on their search for a head coach.

"There is no question we spent a considerable amount of time and effort looking at who we thought were the best collegiate candidates for our head coaching job. We did so knowing that there was a remote chance that these coaches would leave their current posts," the Eagles said in a statement.

"We understood that going into the process, but we wanted to leave no stone unturned while trying to find the best head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. We have no regrets about the effort we made in that direction and we will continue to proceed as planned in our search."

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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