Laurinaitis was a star linebacker for Ohio State and was teammates with Notre Dame head coach, Marcus Freeman. Notre Dame was James’s first coaching gig at the college level, and this move is very expected. Not only does the allure of returning to your alma mater hold a lot of weight, but coaches tend to move around quite a bit early in their careers.
Laurinaitis is the third Notre Dame grad assistant to leave this offseason. Offensive analyst Gus Ragland took over the tight end coaching position at East Tennessee, and offensive analyst Trevor Mendelson is the new offensive line coach for the Western Michigan Broncos. Mendelson goes to work for former Irish running backs coach, Lance Taylor, who was hired as WMU’s new head coach after a short stint as the offensive coordinator for the Louisville Cardinals.