First it was Charlie Weis.
Then it was Jimmy Clausen, followed closely behind by classmate and All-American, Golden Tate.
Today, Notre Dame's key piece on the recruiting trail and interim head of football operations Rob Ianello has taken the same path as the aforementioned trio of former Domers.
It was announced today that Ianello will be formally introduced as head coach at Akron University at noon on Thursday.
''Rob brings a great amount of experience and a lot of energy, and is known as one of the best recruiters in the country,'' said UA Athletic Director Tom Wistrcill. ''We feel he is going to be a great leader for the players in our program.
Although it was still questionable whether most of the current staff at Notre Dame would remain when a new coach was named this week, Ianello's job looked to be safe as he has been responsible for luring numerous blue-chippers to South Bend during the Charlie Weis era.
He joined the Irish in 2005 as a recruiting coordinator and wide-receivers coach and has had tremendous success with recruits. In 2008, he was named as one of the top 25 recruiters in the nation by Rivals and in the top 10 by Tom Lemming.
During his time with the Irish, Ianello has hauled in 12 four-star recruits and three five-stars into the program. This year, he has already garnered four verbal commitments from high school seniors and was recently taking on the duties of being a head college football coach on the recruiting trail.
Now, he will get a chance that he has been waiting for his entire career.
Ianello, 44, will leave Notre Dame with even more question marks than any Irish fan would have liked after the firing of Weis.
In addition to finding a suitable head coach (Brian Kelly or Randy Edsall?), Jack Swarbrick must also take into consideration that Ianello was a key in holding together yet another top recruiting class for Notre Dame. Leaving the incoming head coach with a broken class could cause setbacks and jeopardize instant improvement.
If a coach isn't named by the end of this week, along with a few assistants who will be with the program in 2010, Notre Dame might have even more questions flying at them from their recruits.
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