Notre Dame Football Coaching Staff Tracker

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When Brian Kelly left Notre Dame for LSU the fear among Fighting Irish faithful was that he’d be taking a good amount of assistant coaches with him. By doing so that would sting Notre Dame both in the present and in the future as not only coaches would theoretically leave and then current players and recruits would perhaps follow the coaches they have close relationships with as well.

That may have been the fear but so far it’s certainly not the case as to what has happened as one by one more Notre Dame assistants have been reported to be staying on the coaching staff as we await the University to confirm the reports of Marcus Freeman being the next head football coach.

If Kelly thought he’d be able to bring a good amount of the staff with him, so far it’s gone for him about as well as it did for Jerry MaGuire when he left to start his own agency.

Here are what we know so far in regards to Notre Dame’s staff and who is returning and who we do not yet know:

Head Coach:

Michael Caterina/South Bend Tribune via AP

We still await official word from Notre Dame but reports and logic have it that Marcus Freeman will be the next head coach at Notre Dame after spending one year as the team’s defensive coordinator.

Offensive Coordinator:

Tommy Rees is coming back as offensive coordinator after being pursued by Kelly to join him at LSU. Rees went “Wolf of Wall Street” in announcing his return.

Running Backs Coach:

Running backs Lance Taylor, who has helped upgrade the position at Notre Dame, is returning to the staff.

Wide Receivers Coach:

Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Del Alexander has been Notre Dame’s wide receivers coach since 2017 but there has not yet been a report either way about his future with the Fighting Irish.

Offensive Line:

Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Quinn took over the job when Harry Hiestand left to work for the Chicago Bears in 2018. Quinn is a longtime Kelly assistant and there has been no report as to if he’ll remain in South Bend, follow Kelly, or be looking for work elsewhere. We will keep you posted as always.

Tight Ends Coach:

Image courtesy of Notre Dame Athletics

Tight ends coach John McNulty who has 30 years of coaching experience to his name will remain on the Notre Dame staff according to a report from 247Sports.

Defensive Line Coach:

Defensive line coach Mike Elston who is an unheralded star on this staff put out the above tweet after the news of Freeman and Rees became public. Keeping Elston is massive because he’s obviously talented at what he does but also because he has been on Brian Kelly coaching staffs since 2004 at Central Michigan.

Cornerbacks Coach:

Image courtesy of Notre Dame Athletics

Mike Mickens, a defensive backs coach at Cincinnati for a defense that was coordinated by Marcus Freeman, is set to return to Notre Dame according to a report from 247Sports. This one was as likely to stay as any on this entire list.

Safeties Coach:

Image courtesy of Notre Dame Athletics

Chris O’Leary has been on Notre Dame’s staff as a defensive analyst and graduate assistant before becoming the safeties coach this season. O’Leary is staying on Freeman’s staff according to Patrick Engel of Rivals.

Special Teams Coach:

There are no reports yet on the future of special teams coach Brian Polian. Of the names listed Polian would be the only coach with any head coaching experience having spent four years running the Nevada program. This will be a very interesting name to keep an eye on in regards to Notre Dame or perhaps another head coaching opportunity.

Strength and Conditioning Coach:

Matt Balis is back and didn’t leave any questions as to where he wants to forever remain.

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