The Notre Dame football program had yet another busy start to the offseason as they moved around some staff members and made room for new additions. While Gerad Parker was promoted to offensive coordinator, Gino Guidugli was brought in as passing-game coordinator and quarterbacks coach. In addition, Max Bullough was brought in to replace James Laurinaitis as linebackers coach, and Joe Rudolph was named Harry Hiestand’s replacement as OL coach.
Quite the shuffle that has Notre Dame football fans worried about relationships, specifically regarding recruiting and how current and future commits will be affected.
Though the promotion of Parker to offensive coordinator wasn’t the splashiest hire, it still has the potential to be a huge move. Parker is, by all accounts, a warrior on the recruiting trail and connects exceptionally well with players. Fans should give Gerad a fair shot next season before complaints begin about the offense.
Best new hire for Notre Dame football coach – Gino Guidugli
With all due respect to Tommy Rees, who has the attention of some of the brightest and best coaches in the game, quarterback was poorly developed in recent years. Not many, if any, of the quarterbacks under Tommy Rees improved significantly from year to year at Notre Dame. The offense has sometimes shown flashes, but the quarterback play could have been more impressive.
I’m thrilled to see what a developer of quarterbacks can do for the Notre Dame football program. Gino turned Desmond Ridder, ranked 1657th in his class according to 247Sports, into a potential starter for the Atlanta Falcons next season. The other quarterbacks on the roster have shown some potential and could have breakout seasons this year in Cincinnati. I’m excited to see what Gino can do with Sam Hartman, Tyler Buchner, and the group in South Bend.
Proven new commodity as Notre Dame football coach – Joe Rudolph
I love the hiring of Joe Rudolph because while at Wisconsin, his offensive lines were great. He has also recruited some great recruits as an offensive line coach between Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, and Virginia Tech. He has recruited 3 5-star products and, most recently, the best of that group in Nolan Rucci, his highest-rated recruit ever.
He never got things rolling too much at Virginia Tech, but all things considered, like their 3-8 overall record, the pass-blocking was middle of the road. Just the year prior, in 2021, his team’s pass-blocking grade wasn’t the best at Wisconsin, but the team had a PFF run-blocking grade of 88 overall. Good for 3rd in the nation that season. Give Joe a chance and let him find his recruits, and I bet he will excel in his career more than ever before.
Everything left to prove as a Notre Dame football coach – Max Bullough
Bullough is a bright coach who can turn heads, given where he most recently was as a graduate assistant with Alabama for the last couple of years. He now heads to Notre Dame football in the same position as a graduate assistant in charge of coaching linebackers.
While it remains to be seen what he can do on the recruiting trail and at the position, the linebackers, by expectations alone, had a down season last year. I’m anxious to see what coaches Bullough and Golden can cook up with the talent this upcoming season.
The group coach Freeman brought in is talented, by all accounts. Time will tell with how their players perform on the field; one thing that’s not in doubt is their ability to recruit. With a head coach like Marcus Freeman, recruiting is a must, and these guys get no exception.