For the second time in 3 years the Fighting Irish football program is losing their offensive coordinator to a head coaching gig elsewhere. Following the 2011 season Charley Molnar took the UMass job and today the reports are that Chuck Martin will be leaving South Bend to take over the job at Miami of Ohio.
The RedHawks fired Don Treadwell after 5 games into the 2013 season and have been led by interim head coach Mike Bath since. Martin walks into a situation at Miami with solid institutional support but the program is coming off a 0-12 season and have won just 8 games over the past 3 years.
Chuck Martin rose to prominence as the defensive coordinator at Grand Valley State under Brian Kelly and he would succeed Kelly at GVSU going 74-7 over 6 seasons, including two national championships. He came with Kelly to Notre Dame in 2010 and served as the defensive backs coach until 2012 when he was promoted to offensive coordinator.
A life-long Notre Dame fan Martin had this to say upon leaving South Bend for Oxford, Ohio:
Chuck Martin on the toughest part of leaving ND: "It’s the one place in the world that I love more than any other place in the world."— Irish Illustrated (@NDatRivals) December 3, 2013
There's no doubt that Martin will be missed on many levels. He was a good recruiter and he was very popular among the players. Say what you will about the Irish offense but he was the OC of an undefeated regular season, led an attack that gave Notre Dame the most rushing yards at the school in over a decade, and is 20-5 since taking over his position.
Martin's departure isn't surprising and if he is ever to return to Notre Dame as a head coach this move was inevitable.
Now, Brian Kelly & Co. are tasked with replacing Martin. Will someone like Mike Denbrock (Passing Game Coordinator & Outside Receivers Coach) or Tony Alford (Running Backs Coach, Slot Receivers Coach, Recruiting Coordinator) be promoted from within or will Notre Dame seek out someone from outside the school?
Let the debate begin.