Consider this post a conversation starter. On Monday Notre Dame released this statement regarding assistant coaching moves within the football program. OFD Regular jkra0512 instantly started a Fan Post on the topic and the discussion has been going on there ever since. Granted that discussion turned into sidebar discussions about WWI and In N' Out vs. 5 Guys. But that's what you love about OFD right?
In the mean time myself and the rest of the OFD staff have been trying to gather information on some of the reasoning behind the moves and what we might be able to expect in the next few days.
Frankly that effort has been nothing less than frustrating. There is a ton of information floating about the interwebs on this subject and it is damn near impossible to drill down on the actual reasoning behind what has happened so far and what might happen in the very near future. There are many opinions and some great theories but little that is concrete. Some of this we may never know.
What we do know after the jump.
Let's start with what we factually know.
Offensive Coordinator Charlie Molnar is now the Head Coach at UMASS.
Running Backs Coach Tim Hinton has departed for an assistant position as the Tight Ends Coach at Ohio State.
Offensive Line Coach and Running Game Coordinator Ed Warriner has also departed for an assistant position as the Offensive Line Coach at Ohio State.
Defensive Coordinator Bob Diaco has been named Assistant Head Coach. He obviously remains the Defensive Coordinator.
Former Safeties Coach Chuck Martin has been promoted to Offensive Coordinator/ Quarterbacks Coach/ Recruiting Coordinator. Martin is flipping to the other side of the ball but he has a solid track record running "Kelly's Offense" as the Head Coach at Grand Valley State from 2004-2009 after Kelly departed.
Former Cornerbacks Coach Kerry Cooks has been promoted to Co-Defensive Coordinator/ Defensive Backs Coach. After coaching outside linebackers in 2010 and cornerbacks in 2011 Cooks now has the entire secondary.
Former Offensive Intern Scott Booker has been promoted to "full time assistant and will be assigned a specific position at a later date." He has worked with the offense for the past two years at Notre Dame but his previous experience includes 5 years coaching defensive backs at Kent State and Western Kentucky.
In addition Bob Diaco, Chuck Martin, Kerry Cooks, Scott Booker, Tony Alford (Wide Receivers), Mike Denbrock (Tight Ends) and Mike Elston (Defensive Line) also received contract extensions for an undisclosed period of time.
Opinions and Speculation
Here is where this gets muddy. I have read a ton of opinions and "insider information" on the web this week. Below is a basic synopsis of what I have heard thus far and my thoughts on it.
Molnar was "let go" and assisted with a soft landing at UMASS. This leads me to believe that the overall offensive struggles (can't get a play called), and the lack of QB progression was an issue between BK and Molnar this season. We will likely never know the details on this "issue" but if you think you have something do tell in the comments.
Hinton has long standing ties to Meyer and as such he was quick to jump on Urban's staff at OSU. This one is a no brainer. I get it.
Warriner is looking to advance and when Chuck Martin was named OC he saw his ceiling at ND as a position coach. From there he was looking to leave and Urban gave him an opportunity to do so. This one hurt a little bit. We had the best offensive line that we have had in many years this fall. We can debate and or discuss how much of that was directly related to Warriner for hours.
Between Booker and Alford they will coach the running backs and receivers. One would have to assume that Booker will work with receivers as that is supposedly where he has spent the most time these last two years. This would slide Alford back over to running backs.
We now need an offensive line coach and an additional assistant coach of some kind. That second assistant coach to be hired will most likely be on the defense. This is due to the fact that Martin flipped from defense to offense and Booker will most likely be an offensive assistant.
One would have to assume that said defensive assistant would be working with the linebackers, or perhaps just the outside linebackers if Diaco wants to keep the Inside Backers for himself like he originally did in 2010. This is based on the fact that Cooks has the secondary and Elston still presumably has the defensive line.
Now let's discuss......