2 Bearcat coordinators leaving for Notre Dame
AP Sports Writer
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly will bring two assistants from his Cincinnati staff to be his defensive and offensive coordinators.
Bob Diaco will run the defense, just as he did the past season for the Bearcats. Charley Molnar, who served as Cincinnati’s passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach the past three seasons, will be in charge of the offense with Kelly serving as the offensive play caller.
“I expect a lot from my coordinators,” Kelly said Thursday. “Because they will direct the position coaches and our players, the coordinators need to be effective leaders, clear communicators and self-starters. Bob and Charley possess these traits and I look forward to having them help me lead the Irish.”
The Bearcats finished the 2009 season ranked 67th in total defense, giving up an average of 374 yards a game in Diaco’s first year at Cincinnati. The Bearcats were 31st in total defense a year earlier, but lost 10 starters from that squad.
Diaco also spent a year working under Kelly at Central Michigan in 2005.
Kelly said Diaco accepted the Cincinnati job knowing the challenges he would face and implemented a new defense. The Irish will switch back to a 3-4 defense that will sometimes use a linebacker as a fourth man on the line.
“One great thing about basing out of a 3-4 is the element that the offense doesn’t know where the fourth rusher will be coming from,” Diaco said.
Diaco takes over an Irish squad that finished 86th in total defense, giving up an average of 398 yards a game. Notre Dame hasn’t ranked in the top 30 in total defense since Tyrone Willingham’s first season in 2002, when it was 13th.
Molnar has been on Kelly’s staff since joining him at Central Michigan in 2006. Molnar previously served as offensive coordinator at Kent State (1996-2000) and Indiana State (2005). Kelly said he has confidence in Molnar’s ability to lead both players and coaches.
“I have seen how he has developed both quarterbacks and wide receivers and tailored a passing attack around the strengths of an offense,” Kelly said.
Kelly has to hire three more assistant coaches.