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The path to Notre Dame

Some details from the pre-Notre Dame coaching resumes of the Irish football program’s 2023 staff.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: APR 23 Notre Dame Spring Game Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We’re getting closer to the 2023 Notre Dame football season! Or at least that’s what I continue telling myself, it seems like this offseason is really dragging. Spring practices will be wrapping up soon and the team’s image is starting to come into a little better focus. So I figured it’s about time to share a bit more about what we know about this season’s coaching staff. This segment will focus on the Irish staff’s coaching experience over the years.

Coach Overview

For the total staff, defensive coordinator Al Golden brings the most experience. Golden got his coaching career started in 1994. Offensive line coach Joe Rudolph is the runner up for the most seasoned on the staff, making his coaching debut ten years later in 2004.

Offensive coordinator Gerad Parker and defensive line coach Al Washington both got their starts in 2007. Quarterbacks coach Gino Guidiugli and running backs coach Deland McCullough both kicked things off in 2010. Special teams coordinator Marty Biagli and Mike Mickens both made their debuts in 2011.

Defensive backs coach Chris O’Leary and wide receivers coach Chansi Stuckey bring up the rear of the staff, in terms of coaching experience. O’Leary made his coaching debut in 2015 and Stuckey got things started in 2019.

Previous Teams’ Details

In total, the staff brings 127 seasons of prior coaching experience to the program. The bulk of that time was spent coaching collegiate teams in the ACC and Big Ten. The 2023 staff also spent a fair amount of time coaching collegiate teams in the MAC, Big 12 and American conferences as well as teams in the NFL.

The Irish coaches have 116 seasons of experience with DI teams, 4 seasons of experience with DII-III teams and 7 seasons of experience with NFL teams.

Members of the 2023 staff have a decent amount of overlap with previous college programs. Cincinnati ranks at the top, with defensive staff members Mike Mickens and All Washington as well as offensive staff member Gino Guidugli having done previous stints with the Bearcat program. Big Ten teams (Purdue, Penn State and Ohio State) are also characterized by Irish coaching overlaps.

Coach-Level Details (Offense)

Joe Rudolph – Offensive Line

Rudolph kicked off his coaching career at Ohio State in 2004. He spent the bulk of his pre-Notre Dame career in the Big Ten, including 11 total seasons with Wisconsin.

Gerad Parker – Offensive Coordinator

Parker kicked off his coaching career at Kentucky in 2007. He’s coached at a variety of programs, with his longest pre-Notre Dame stint being 4 seasons in the Big Ten at Purdue.

Deland McCullough – Running Backs Coach

McCullough kicked off his coaching career at Miami (Ohio) in 2010. He spent the bulk of his pre-Notre Dame career at Indiana in the Big Ten but also did 3 seasons in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Gino Guidugli – Quarterbacks Coach

Guidugli kicked off his coaching career at Central Michigan in 2010. He spent 7 seasons with the Broncos before heading to Cincinnati. He spent 5 seasons with the Bearcats before joining up with the Irish.

Chansi Stuckey – Wide Receivers Coach

Stuckey kicked off his coaching career at Clemson in 2019. He spent 2 seasons with the Tigers and 1 season with Baylor before making his way up to South Bend.

Coach-Level Details (Defense)

Al Golden – Defensive Coordinator

Golden kicked off his coaching career at Virginia in 1994. He spent the bulk of his pre-Notre Dame career in the ACC, with 8 total seasons at Virginia. Before joining the Irish staff he spent 4 seasons in the NFL, split evenly between the Detroit Lions and Cincinnati Bengals.

Al Washington – Defensive Coach

Washington kicked off his coaching career at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2007. His longest coaching stint was spent in the ACC with 5 seasons at Boston College. Before joining the Notre Dame staff he spent 3 seasons in the Big Ten at Ohio State.

Mike Mickens – Cornerbacks Coach

Mickens kicked off his coaching career at Cincinnati in 2011. He returned to the Bearcats in 2018 for 2 seasons before joining up with the Irish program.

Chris O’Leary – Defensive Backs Coach

O’Leary kicked off his coaching career at Georgia State in 2015, spending 2 seasons with the Panthers. He then spent 1 season at Florida Tech before coming to Notre Dame.

Coach-Level Details (Special Teams)

Marty Biagli – Special Teams Coordinator

Biagli kicked off his coaching career at Arkansas-Pine Bluff in 2011. He started things off in the SWAC with 1 season at Pine Bluff followed up by 3 seasons with Southern University. After 1 season with the Irish in 2016, he moved around before finally returning to South Bend in 2023.

Final Thoughts

The Irish football program enters the 2023 season with head coach Marcus Freeman in his second year and a lot of new faces filling out the rest of the staff positions. With around 116 collective seasons of DI coaching experience, I don’t think we’ve got any concerns about the general expertise being there. It will be interesting to see how the individuals blend their personal styles as well as the styles of the wide ranges of previous programs they’ve worked with (mostly Big Ten and ACC) for this year’s campaign.

With one of the most diverse schedules we’ve seen in a while, I’m optimistic that it’ll all work out for some really good outcomes though. We shall see come the Fall.

Cheers and Go Irish!!