clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Brian VanGorder Becomes Notre Dame's New Defensive Coordinator

The mustachioed veteran coach becomes Brian Kelly's first new DC in 5 years.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

We first heard the rumors shortly after the Pinstripe Bowl but it is now official. Brian VanGorder is the new defensive coordinator at Notre Dame. The veteran has been coaching for nearly 35 years and comes to South Bend from the New York Jets where he served as the team's linebackers coach.


VanGorder has quite the long resume and hasn't stayed in one place for too long.

He played linebacker at Wayne State in Detroit before coaching in the high school ranks for 7 years. His first job in college was at Grand Valley State where he was a fellow assistant with Brian Kelly for 2 years and then defensive coordinator under first-year head coach Brian Kelly in 1991. A year later VanGorder took the head coaching job at his alma mater where he went 16-17 over 3 years.

From 1994 to 1997 he worked as the linebackers coach and later the defensive coordinator at Central Florida. From there he was the DC at Central Michigan for 2 years, the DC at Western Illinois for 1 year, and then really made his name while working at Georgia as that program's defensive coordinator for 4 seasons.

Since leaving Athens VanGorder has worked for 1 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars (LB coach), went 3-8 in only 1 season as the head coach at Georgia Southern, became the linebackers coach with the Atlanta Falcons for a season and then the team's defensive coordinator for 4 more seasons.

He was the defensive coordinator for Auburn in 2012 before heading to the Jets last season.

There's been a lot of talk about Notre Dame switching schemes under VanGorder and we'll have to wait and see what the new defensive coordinator has in store for the Irish.