Introducing Notre Dame's Expected Hires for Brian Kelly's Coaching Staff
Bringing in a new head coach means more than just one personnel change.
It means bringing in almost an entirely new coaching staff along with that single man. Brian Kelly, the new head coach in South Bend, has chosen to do just that.
Although the following hires aren't set in stone and haven't been officially announced, they have been leaked to numerous sources and confirmed.
Kelly has said that his assistant coaches will not be one-dimensional, but rather both good recruiters and good on-field coaches. This philosophy has allowed Kelly to find great success in each of his three previous coaching stops, whom many of the following men have experienced with him.
Running Backs—Tony Alford
Alford spent his first season in South Bend last season coaching the running backs.
Known as a relentless recruiter and a high energy coach who preaches ball security to his backs, Kelly chose to retain the lone member of Weis' staff for these reasons.
Another reason Alford may have been retained would be due to his recruiting ability. He has had success in places where the Irish have not recently been successful in, including Florida, where he secured a verbal from Notre Dame's top current recruit, defensive tackle Louis Nix.
He has spent all 14 years of his coaching career as a running backs coach. His previous coaching stops include Louisville, Iowa State, Washington, Kent State, and Mount Union.
Wide Receivers—Charley Molnar
Molnar follows Kelly to South Bend where he will focus on coaching the likes of Michael Floyd and company.
In addition to being with Kelly at Cincinnati, he had served on the staff at Central Michigan with him. During his career, he has not only focused on coaching wide receivers, but also coordinating the passing attack.
Molnar's previous stops include Illinois State, Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Eastern Illinois, Virginia, Kent State, Cincinnati, and Central Michigan.
Tight Ends/Tackles—Mike Denbrock
Denbrock, a former Notre Dame assistant under Tyrone Willingham, will most likely focus on the same positions that he did in 2004: tackles and tight ends.
Kelly employed Denbrock at Grand Valley State and the two still have a close friendship.
After Willingham left South Bend, Denbrock followed him and spent five seasons as the offensive line coach at Washington. Although he isn't the lone line coach, expect him to be heavily involved alongside the other offensive line specialist.
Coming from Indiana State, where he served as the special teams and linebackers coach, Denbrock is known as a spirited coach who is also rather proven on the recruiting trail. He was a big part in Brady Quinn's recruitment to Notre Dame.
His previous stops include Stanford, Washington, Grand Valley State, Michigan State, and Illinois State.
Offensive Line—Ed Warriner
Warinner comes to the Irish after holding the offensive coordinator position at Kansas since 2007.
He spent a total of five seasons at Kansas with a brief offensive line coaching stint at Illinois in between. Warinner is not only an emotionally-invested coach, but he knows the meaning of work ethic. He served on both the Air Force and Army coaching staffs. While at Army, his rushing attack led the NCAA three different times.
Although many wanted to see Mitch Browning named to this position, Kelly chose to go with Warinner because of his experience in the spread offense. Warinner's previous stops include both of the Academies, Michigan State, and Akron.
Defensive Coordinator—Bob Diaco
Reuniting with Kelly on their third coaching stop together, Diaco will serve as the defensive coordinator, where he served this year at Cincinnati.
Diaco, a former Butkus award finalist at Iowa, is known for his emotional practice techniques and good recruiting roots, especially in New Jersey.
Previously, he served as the defensive coordinator at Virginia, the special teams coach at Western Michigan, and defensive coordinator at Central Michigan under Kelly.
Diaco will inherit a talented, yet unproven, Irish defense that will get a facelift after the departure of Jon Tenuta.
Defensive Line—Mike Elston
Another coach following Kelly from Central Michigan to Cincinnati to Notre Dame, Elston will serve as the defensive line coach, replacing Randy Hart.
Elston, who also coached one of the best special team units in college football last year, is also strong on the recruiting trail. In his three seasons at Cincinnati, he has been instrumental in signing a 22-man class in 2007, a 24-man class in 2008, and a 28-man class in 2009.
However, Elston is at a disadvantage from the get go with Irish fans as he is a Michigan alum.
His previous stops also include Eastern Michigan.
Coming to South Bend after serving as the defensive backs coach at Wisconsin for the past four seasons, Cooks brings a mean and committed attitude to this new coaching staff. Like Diaco, Cooks was a standout safety at Iowa and went on to have a decent NFL career.
Although Cooks is a proven secondary coach, he will most likely end up coaching Manti Te'o and the linebackers next season. In addition to this, he will serve as a vital piece of the recruiting game as he has strong connections in Texas.
His previous stops include Kansas State, Minnesota, and Western Illinois.
Defensive Backs—Chuck Martin
Martin, one of Kelly's closest friends in coaching and off the field, finally was lured away from Grand Valley State to start a career in Division I football.
Serving as Kelly's defensive coordinator at GVSU, Martin lead a ferocious and attacking-style defense while winning national championships alongside his friend. After Kelly left for Central Michigan, Martin assumed the head coaching position and never looked back.
From the day of Kelly's departure up until this season, Martin had compiled a record of 61-5 and won two national championships.
Special Teams/Unknown—Tim Hinton
Hinton will follow Kelly to South Bend also, but his role is still not yet confirmed.
He had served as the running backs and recruiting coordinator at Cincinnati, but Alford will remain on Kelly's coaching staff. The only logical fit for Hinton would be special teams, but it is still unknown until announced by the head coach himself.
What we do know is that Hinton will bring proven recruiting success along with him to Notre Dame. In addition, he has served in the college coaching ranks for the past nine seasons and also 11 seasons in high school football.
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