Notre Dame teaching search begins

Who will succeed Brian Kelly at the reins of Notre Dame? Hopefully not Urban Meyer

Who will succeed Brian Kelly on the reins of Notre Dame? Hopefully not City Meyer
Picture: Getty Pictures

I, together with the remainder of the Notre Dame fanbase, was hit with an absolute punch within the intestine yesterday that has thrown me for the loop of my life. Perhaps Jack Swarbrick noticed this coming, however this announcement was a whole blindside to everybody else concerned with Notre Dame soccer, gamers included. As I made my method by way of the 5 levels of grief — albeit a grief softened by the unbelievable Twitter content material that got here out of this — I questioned every little thing I had ever recognized and trusted, and principally, I questioned why Brian Kelly would depart with a really actual shot at a playoff bid coming one week from now.

Certain, there are 95 million solutions to that query. I perceive the monetary ramifications. I do know that Notre Dame must get extra aggressive by way of how a lot they’re prepared to pay coaches, educational priorities be damned. I additionally surprise, if Oklahoma had received Bedlam, whether or not Riley would have stayed for the potential playoff bid. We might by no means know the reply to that, however to depart a playoff-ready crew excessive and dry like this can be a fully unprecedented transfer in faculty soccer. (And to those that wish to argue about whether or not ND deserves a playoff berth, I promise I’ve a researched rebuttal to each one in all your factors and can defend this crew to my dying breath.)

The best way he left screwed nearly everybody in this system over, with the 11-minute goodbye speech serving because the cherry on prime. So sure, I’m upset. As a lot as individuals who like to hate the Irish can preach that that is simply the way it occurs in faculty soccer, this does have a definite tinge of harsh betrayal. Kelly constructed the fashionable period of the Irish to the place it’s at this time — a constant playoff contender — and he had the possibility to depart a legacy there, one thing it appeared that he supposed on doing. As an alternative, he’s giving up, ring chasing at a spot the place it’s purportedly “simpler” to win championships, till he realizes what it’s actually wish to play Alabama and Ole Miss yearly. He’s now making an attempt to intestine the ND teaching workers to convey them south with him, and the rumor mill is so oversaturated in the intervening time that I’ve no hypothesis to supply on that apart from that I’m vaguely nauseous on the thought — however not as nauseous as I’m on the considered City Meyer coming to South Bend.

In order I course of this and reluctantly transfer to the fifth stage, acceptance, helped alongside by the hours I’ve spent on the telephone with fellow heartbroken alums, I’m transferring onto taking a look at the perfect candidates for the subsequent HC, in addition to the candidates that I actually don’t wish to see. Right here’s my early checklist:

The Favorites

Marcus Freeman

He’s not a giant title, however he’s at present the axis round which the way forward for Notre Dame soccer rotates. The rumor mill proper now has Kelly making an attempt to lure Freeman to be defensive coordinator at LSU — a job he turned down this previous yr in favor of Notre Dame — which might be fully disastrous for the Irish. Freeman is the perfect recruiter that ND has proper now and has clearly received over the locker room. With two of the perfect recruiting lessons in current reminiscence coming into the college in 2022 and 2023, Notre Dame can’t afford to lose the consistency within the teaching workers that they’ve proper now, which most likely means providing Freeman nothing decrease than the pinnacle teaching job. Issues are working, and it’s not the time to shift gears simply as every little thing lastly appears to be falling into place. Plus, protecting Freeman would seemingly persuade many of the different defensive coaches to stay round. This isn’t a program that wants a giant change proper now. To maintain the practice a-chugging, he’s my decide. He additionally appears to be the fan base favourite for the job. I simply don’t know if Swarbrick will make the decision, although, as Freeman’s resume is lacking head teaching expertise.

Luke Fickell

The Cincinnati-to-Notre Dame pipeline hasn’t failed us but, and there’s no motive to repair one thing that ain’t broke. Fickell has the Midwestern recruiting and training sport down, and if he’s capable of convey Cincinnati to a aggressive degree on the nationwide stage, think about what he can do with Notre Dame’s assets and title recognition. Would we be taking a danger with Brian Kelly Half 2? I believe Fickell’s teaching model is completely different sufficient from Kelly’s, and Notre Dame’s program is in a greater place than it was when Kelly signed on, that the rising pains wouldn’t look fairly so excessive. Our greatest danger with him can be the Ohio State job opening up, which doesn’t look like taking place anytime quickly, and we might even have the ability to persuade Freeman to remain on (with a hearty elevate, in fact), and hold the gang collectively. I believe that he’d match proper in, and it’s a logical subsequent step for his profession.

Mike Gundy

Sure, this can be a bit insane, however I believe that it may very well be enjoyable. He’s been at Oklahoma State since 2001, however he nonetheless has a stable 10 to fifteen years left in his teaching profession, and possibly it’s time for a change. To be honest, we by no means thought Kelly would depart, so the lesson I take from that’s to by no means say by no means. With all of the turnover within the Large 12 and Oklahoma heading out to the SEC, and with Notre Dame capable of provide a aggressive wage, I believe that he would convey a brand new vitality to the Irish in addition to presumably pulling extra recruits from the south, a area that the Irish lose out on considerably repeatedly. Is that this a logical transfer? Perhaps, possibly not. Notre Dame is theoretically a greater job than Oklahoma State, but when the Cowboys are completely happy to maintain Gundy till retirement, he might wish to keep there. I’m wondering the place he might need a greater likelihood at a championship, although.

The Please Nos

City Meyer

Lots of people appear to suppose that Meyer is the logical alternative for Notre Dame’s subsequent rent. He’s not succeeding within the NFL, he’s a wildly profitable faculty coach and recruiter, and he’s one of many previous guard who nonetheless remembers when Notre Dame was the place to be. I’m going to say this proper right here and proper now: there’s not an opportunity in hell that Notre Dame will rent City Meyer, whether or not he’s within the job or not. ND likes to think about itself as having a type of ethical normal that’s lacking from the remainder of the massive names in faculty soccer, a self-perception largely introduced on by the ever-hailed educational requirements that college athletes are held to. It doesn’t matter whether or not or not that is correct, it issues that Notre Dame thinks that it’s. And since they suppose that it’s, they are going to by no means rent somebody with the luggage and poisonous public picture that City Meyer carries with him, from fixed NCAA violations to protecting on a coach who was abusing his spouse to accusations of horrible locker room tradition to that video of him getting a bit too shut with not-his-wife a number of weeks in the past, ND’s superiority complicated won’t ever permit them to convey him on. I additionally personally don’t actually need him — I don’t suppose he’d be a very good tradition match with the college and I’m not as certain as others that he would assure us a nationwide championship.

Pat Fitzgerald

Others have been placing ahead the Northwestern head coach’s title for the job, and to be trustworthy, I don’t suppose he’s able to carry out on the type of stage that Notre Dame brings. Certain, he’s acquired the expertise with an academics-first program, and he’s made a stable title for himself within the Large Ten West, however Northwestern simply doesn’t evaluate to Notre Dame soccer — on the sector, certain, however extra importantly, off the sector. There’s an excessive amount of at stake proper now to danger bringing somebody like Fitzgerald on — not a nasty coach by any means, but additionally not a coach who I imagine would have the ability to hold the loyalty of present recruits and training workers. I don’t suppose he has the nationwide recruiting chops that go along with the job but, both.

The Impartial

Matt Campbell

The Iowa State head coach’s title has been thrown round in teaching carousel talks for the previous few years after he made a reputation for this system. He’s crushed some massive names, together with Oklahoma and TCU, and he led Iowa State to an 8-1 convention file in 2020. I like his convention expertise and his massive sport expertise, and I believe that he’d have the ability to step as much as the job’s calls for. They’d a mediocre season this yr, however beat Oklahoma State and saved it shut with each Oklahoma and Baylor. For some motive, although, I simply don’t really feel tremendous passionate about him, and I’ve a sense that we might take a bit longer to “rebuild” if he indicators on, even when he ultimately is ready to be a profitable Notre Dame coach. I suppose I query his capacity to win the massive video games with the Irish, not to mention a championship, however I’m additionally not completely in opposition to giving him a shot.

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