Friday, December 18, 2009
Kelly keeping only one Weis assistant
Several reports say that new Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly has decided to retain only one assistant coach from Charlie Weis' staff, and that's running backs coach Tony Alford.
Interestingly enough, Alford was at Louisville before coming to Notre Dame in 2009, where he competed against Kelly's Cincinnati team in the Big East.
Kelly has not said a lot publicly about who he will bring on staff, but he's expected to hire several of his former Cincinnati assistants. If Jeff Quinn, who will coach the Bearcats in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, does not get a head-coaching job in the next few weeks, he will almost certainly join Kelly in South Bend as offensive coordinator/offensive line coach. He's been Kelly's right-hand man for about 20 years.
Current Cincinnati defensive coordinator Bob Diaco, defensive line coach Mike Elston, quarterbacks coach Greg Forest and receivers coach Charley Molnar all have long associations with Kelly and can be expected to come to Notre Dame as well.
In addition, Grand Valley State head coach Chuck Martin -- a former Kelly assistant -- has said publicly that he would join Kelly's staff if asked. Kelly asked him to be his assistant when he took the Central Michigan and Cincinnati jobs, but Martin declined those opportunities.
I think Kelly would be well served by hiring someone who has recruited nationally before as this will be a new experience for him. Alford has proved to be a strong recruiter in his own right. I'm a little surprised that former special-teams coach Brian Polian wasn't retained just because of his reputation as a top-notch recruiter.
But Kelly most of all needs a staff with which he can feel comfortable, because he has said his philosophy is to "coach the coaches" and have them do a lot of player development.