Meet Notre Dame's Bob Diaco, College Football's Next Big Coaching Name

Dan ScofieldAnalyst IJanuary 23, 2011

It's safe to say that if there was no Bob Diaco, there would be a lot less excitement at Notre Dame as of late.

Fresh off a 4:30 AM visit to the living room of five-star recruit Ishaq Williams, the Irish defensive coordinator was in instant route to another household. This time to the Southern household of another five-star defensive end in the form of Stephon Tuitt, a former Irish verbal who had switched his allegiance to Georiga Tech just hours before Diaco's visit. 

As expected, after meeting with Diaco, Brian Kelly and a few other assistants, Tuitt was once again solid to Notre Dame.

It may be the commitment. It may be the perfectly-ironed suit jacket or the perfectly executed combover. Whatever it is, recruits are taking notice of Diaco and his work ethic that has had him traveling the country in order to haul in one of the best defensive classes in Notre Dame history.

Now on the national radar, and likely going to be receiving nominations for "Recruiter of the Year" awards in a few weeks, Diaco may just be the next big name recruit Kelly will have to secure in the near future.

As a young, inspired and hard-working defensive coordinator, Diaco not only has gotten it done on the recruiting trail, but has turned a once mediocre Irish defense into a unit that performed better than almost anyone in the second half of the 2010 season. With a solid core of that defense coming back in 2011 and the additions of some high-impact freshmen already on campus as early enrollees, this Irish defense may contend as one of the nation's best for all of 2011.

If the offense can follow the tracks of Diaco's defense, there is no question that Notre Dame may find itself in contention for a BCS bowl game next fall.

It may not be this year, or even the following one. But it isn't hard to predict what is in store for Diaco in the future: a head coaching job.

Kelly has been known in the past for keeping his staff together for the most part, but this may be his toughest task yet. After all, who wants to stay behind the scenes forever?

Of course, other names like Tony Alford and Chuck Martin will also be difficult ones to protect. However, Kelly knows that Diaco is his used car salesman that has yet to fail, in addition to being his defensive coordinator that refuses to fail as well.

If you haven't heard of Diaco before this year, you have by now. And if you haven't still by some miracle, you will have by the time National Signing Day has rolled around on February 2nd.

And, most importantly for Irish fans, that name will be cemented on the sidelines in South Bend for at least a few more years to come.