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Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Former Ole Miss coach Irish's offensive coordinator

By Ivan Maisel
ESPN.com

Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis has apparently zeroed in on former Ole Miss coach David Cutcliffe as his offensive coordinator and John Latina, who was Cutcliffe's offensive coordinator with the Rebels, as the new Irish offensive line coach.

Latina, who had already found a position on Steve Spurrier's new staff at South Carolina, resigned Wednesday "to pursue other opportunities," according to a university statement. A source at the South Carolina athletic department said that Latina indicated he and Cutcliffe were talking to Notre Dame but nothing had been finalized.

Notre Dame spokesman John Heisler said Wednesday night that the university probably would not have any announcements about assistant coaches before the first of next week, in part because of the bureaucracy of the hiring process, which includes job applications that must be filled out and drug tests that must be taken.

Cutcliffe established himself as one of the top offensive coordinators in the nation at Tennessee in the 1990s, where he tutored quarterbacks Heath Shuler, Peyton Manning and Tee Martin.

Ole Miss hired Cutcliffe at the end of the 1998 regular season, and he led the Rebels to five consecutive winning seasons, including a Cotton Bowl berth a year ago, before going 4-7 this season. Ole Miss fired Cutcliffe earlier this month. Sources said that Cutcliffe refused to make staff changes as directed by athletic director Pete Boone.