Notre Dame football took little time in filling their vacant offensive coordinator position.
After losing Mike Denbrock to Cincinnati, Brian Kelly took almost no time in finding a new offensive coordinator. Sources have told ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg and Matt Fortuna, that Notre Dame is set to hire Memphis offensive coordinator, Chip Long, to the same position. This will be Brian Kelly’s third coordinator hire this year.
Long is a coach much like Brian Kelly when hired at Notre Dame, and Mike Elko, the Irish’s new defensive coordinator. Each of these coaches is, or were, considered some of the highest potential coaches on the market.
As an up and coming offensive coordinator, Long has built an impressive resume. Even without Paxton Lynch, Long turned Memphis’ offense into a scoring machine.
In 2016, the Tigers averaged 39 points per game and an impressive 6.25 yards per play. With little to no recognizable talent in his offense, it’s hard not to credit Long with Memphis’ offensive success.
What makes Long an even better candidate for the Notre Dame job is his experience with tight ends. From 2012-2015, Long was Arizona State’s tight end coach and recruiting coordinator. Before that, he was the tight end and fullback coach at Illinois.
Coming to “Tight End U,” Long is going to need to know a thing or two about pass catching linemen. With two top tight end recruits headed to South Bend in 2017, and Alize Jones and Durham Smythe returning, Long has an abundance of talent at the tight end position.
The big question now is whether or not Brian Kelly will continue to call plays next season. Many fans believe that Kelly has proven his worth through recruiting, but has failed as a play caller. After an atrocious 2016 season, it’ll be interesting to see if Kelly gives up some authority to Long.