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Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly, through his representatives, is exploring options to possibly leave the Fighting Irish program, a source said Saturday.

Kelly’s representatives have had contact with other universities, a source told ESPN. Yahoo! Sports first reported Kelly’s interest in the possibility of leaving Notre Dame.

After Saturday’s 45-27 loss at USC, Kelly was asked if he would return next season. “I’ll be back, absolutely,” he said.

Notre Dame sources told ESPN that Kelly has expressed no desire to leave the school.

There are currently only two openings for head coach among Power 5 teams — Baylor and Purdue — but more opportunities could spring up based on additional movement in the ranks. Among prominent FBS programs, Oregon could have a vacancy if the Ducks decide to fire Mark Helfrich following his team’s completion of a 4-8 regular season.

Kelly also could have an interest in the NFL should an opportunity present itself, a source said.

Since Notre Dame recently announced the NCAA was investigating the school for academic fraud in 2014, Kelly has been repeatedly left to answer for it publicly. On Tuesday, the NCAA vacated 21 Notre Dame victories from the 2012 and 2013 seasons due to academic misconduct involving eight Irish players.

Athletic director Jack Swarbrick told ESPN’s Matt Fortuna in midseason that Kelly would return next season, a proclamation that actually irked Kelly because his AD had to public announce his job was not in jeopardy.

“Brian will lead this team out of the tunnel opening day next year,” Swarbrick said at the time.

Notre Dame finished its regular season 4-8 and will not play in a bowl game for the first time since 2009, Charlie Weis’ final year with the Irish. Kelly is 59-31 in seven seasons at Notre Dame and clinched a bowl berth in each of his first six seasons.’s Matt Fortuna contributed to this report.