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Report: Brian Kelly, Notre Dame Part Ways with OC Chip Long

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorDecember 11, 2019

Chip Long, Notre Dame offensive coordinator, watches in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Southern California in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Notre Dame football is in the market for a new offensive coordinator after "mutually parting ways" with Chip Long, per Adam Rittenberg of ESPN. 

FootballScoop was the first to report a possible split on Wednesday, writing that Long was "exploring other opportunities and is unlikely to return to the Notre Dame staff."

Long, 36, was the Fighting Irish's OC for three seasons. He moved to Notre Dame from Memphis, where he also served as the offensive coordinator.

He made a big impression in just one year as the Tigers' offensive architect, guiding the team to 39 points per game and 6.25 yards per play. Memphis went 8-5 and finished 15th in Division I-FBS in scoring.

Long's offenses largely excelled at Notre Dame, and the Fighting Irish are coming off averaging 37.1 points per game. That mark was the school's highest per-game total since head coach Ara Parseghian's 1968 team posted 37.6 points per outing.

However, Notre Dame also had a tendency to struggle offensively against some Top 25 opponents. A 45-14 loss to Michigan stands out from 2019, as does a 30-3 defeat to Clemson in the College Football Playoff the year before.

Still, Long was highly regarded enough to be named one of five finalists for the 2018 Broyles Award, given to the nation's top assistant coach in Division I-FBS.

As for what's next for Long and Notre Dame, Bryan Driskell of Sports Illustrated provided a couple of hints. Long is reportedly "drawing interest for head coach spots this offseason, as well as other OC positions."

Driskell also reported that head coach Brian Kelly is "leaning towards" promoting quarterbacks coach Tommy Rees to offensive coordinator. Rees, 27, played quarterback for Notre Dame from 2010-13, tossing 27 touchdown passes in his final season. He's been the quarterbacks coach at Notre Dame for three years.