One of the best position coaches of all time, offensive line coach Harry Hiestand announced his retirement from coaching and will leave Notre Dame football. While it’s somewhat surprising, considering he rejoined the team last year, his reasoning was sound. The coach noted he wanted to spend more quality time with his family and be able to attend sporting events and the like for his kids.
We can’t thank coach Hiestand enough for such an incredible career and for being an integral part of some excellent OL Notre Dame has sent to the NFL. Some top talents he coached include Quenton Nelson, Ronnie Stanley, Nick and Zack Martin, Chris Watt, and Mike McGlinchey. Hiestand was one of the best offensive line coaches in the game; he will definitely be missed in South Bend, but who should replace him?
Notre Dame football OL coach – Chris Watt
While it’s hard to say if Watt is ready to be the offensive line coach at a top-tier program like Notre Dame, he did learn from one of the best as both a player and coach. Watt received tutelage from coach Hiestand and could continue his outstanding coaching ways. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a long shot, given his relative inexperience as a coach. He has one year as offensive line coach, which came in a brief stint away from Notre Dame football at Tulane in 2021. Watt is currently a graduate assistant for the Irish.
It’s a bit tougher to pinpoint what a school may do regarding a specific positions group coach, but Watt should at least be a thought moving forward. He’s a Notre Dame football guy through and through.
Notre Dame football OL coach – Aaron Taylor
Another option for an offensive line coach that could be a home run type of hire as far as name recognition and recruiting goes is Aaron Taylor. Sure, he hasn’t been a coach before, but I get the feeling he would do just fine. Taylor is not only in the college football hall of fame as one of the best offensive linemen ever, but he helped create the Joe Moore Award, given to the most outstanding offensive line in the nation yearly.
He has had massive success as a player and an analyst in football circles and would immediately be a guy student-athletes would want to play for. Frankly, I expect the hire to come from the outside, but I’d love to see these two Notre Dame football guys get a shot.