It appears that the Notre Dame coaching staff has finally been completed. After both official and unofficial reports, there have been 3 more hires with a backdoor move here and there.
Meteoric rise for reported new Notre Dame OC Mike Sanford. Still in early 30s, was Boise OC for 1 season, Stanford pos. coach/RC before that
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) February 11, 2015
South Florida RBs coach Autry Denson expected to join Notre Dame in same role per sources. http://t.co/I6hTHBorI3
— Thayer Evans (@ThayerEvansSI) February 17, 2015
— JC Shurburtt (@jcshurburtt) February 17, 2015
As for that back door move… Bob Elliot will move into an administrative role at Notre Dame.
Confirmed: Bob Elliott to move into off-the-field coaching role, will be involved in recruiting efforts.
— Irish Illustrated (@PeteSampson_) February 17, 2015
So, will the staff look like for 2015?
|Head Coach||Brian Kelly|
|Offensive Line||Harry Hiestand|
|Running Backs||Autry Denson|
|Tight Ends||Scott Booker|
|Offensive Co. / QB's||Mike Stanford|
|Wide Receivers / Asst HC||Mike Denbrock|
|Defensive Co. / Safeties||Brian VanGorder|
|Defensive Line||Keith Gilmore|
There are some obvious changes for 2015. First, Stanford will take over the offensive coordinator position after Mike Denbrock gets the title bump of “Assistant Head Coach.” Next, we see Mike Elston is moved to coach linebackers as Keith Gilmore enters the fold as the Defensive Line coach. Brian VanGorder will coach the safeties along with his Defensive Coordinator position (and that’s a slick move considering BVG asks a lot from the safety position in this defense).
What we don’t know about is who, exactly, will coach special teams. Scott Booker appears to have lost that role, and as we can see, all 9 assistant spots are filled. I would have loved to have seen a real and fulltime special teams coach, but that won’t be the case.
Overall, I think it’s a strong staff, but young in spots with Booker, Denson, and Lyght. Perhaps the hope is that a more youthful and ambitious bunch will be able to get the most out of the young adults that they now coach. At any rate, when it comes to assistant coaches, I have always felt that a few moves each year are healthy and bring new energy to the team, but this looks more like a coaching overhaul.
After last season’s underachievement, maybe that’s just what Notre Dame Football needed.