Notre Dame football: Who could be the next Irish head coach?
Assistant College Coaches
Marcus Freeman-Notre Dame Defensive Coordinator
Have you heard of this young coach? Maybe you did when Brian Kelly described Marcus Freeman, now in his first year at Notre Dame, as, “The next head coach.” Did Kelly mean at Notre Dame? Did he mean the next coordinator who is going to be getting looks from around the country?
Either way, Freeman should be considered one of the best options to replace Brian Kelly when the time comes.
An elite recruiter who is learning how to succeed at Notre Dame on the job, Freeman is an elite defensive mind who knows both the Midwest and states of Ohio and Indiana incredibly well. Players love him, and at his age, he could be the head coach for decades with any success.
Jim Leonhard-Wisconsin Defensive Coordinator
One of those guys who probably just hasn’t gotten his shot to be a head coach yet because he’s a defensive guy, and there’s been a run on offensive coaches in recent years, Jim Leonhard should get tons of consideration to be a head coach soon. His schemes are excellent and he loves to put together an aggressive front seven, as Notre Dame learned in Chicago.
Leonhard played safety in the NFL and has only ever coached at Wisconsin, where he also played. There is a good chance that he feels the Badgers job is going to be his one day, but it’s undeniably that the Notre Dame jobs would be incredibly tempting.
Joe Moorhead-Oregon Offensive Coordinator
Joe Moorhead was briefly the head coach at Mississippi State, but the fired him shortly after he announced that they’d have to, “Drag my Yankee ass out of here.” That didn’t go over well in Mississippi, believe it or not, plus they wanted to match Lane Kiffin at Ole Miss with their own example of a shiny new coach-Mike Leach. Yeah, it hasn’t been great for Mississippi State.
They probably should have stayed the course, and he should have played nice with donors.
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Moorhead has proven to be a great offensive coordinator and coach across the country, though most of his time has been spent in the Rust Belt. Now at Oregon, he’s proving himself to still be a great offensive mind running downhill behind a dominant line. He’d fit in and win at Notre Dame, unless he’s already at a school like Penn State when Brian Kelly leaves.