With Brian Mason off to the Indianapolis Colts in the same capacity as with Notre Dame football, Marty Biagi will reportedly take over as special teams coordinator. This was first reported by The Athletic’s Matt Fortuna. Biagi, a former special teams analyst with the Irish in 2016, will return to South Bend from Ole Miss. Coach Biagi was recently the special teams coordinator in Oxford and, before that, for Purdue.
While coach Mason will be sorely missed, given how well the Irish special teams unit performed this past season, Biagi should be an excellent hire for coach Freeman. The new Notre Dame football special teams coach himself has experience on special teams as a place kicker and punter for Marshall.
While it remains to be seen what happens with the specialist group moving forward, it should be noted that the Irish have added some new transfer talent to the group. Punter Ben Krimm and place kicker Spencer Shrader will join the Irish next season, who saw two transfers excel last year under Mason.
While nowhere near Notre Dame’s outrageous 7 blocked punts last year, the Rebels had a couple on the season, which is still no easy task. Regarding kick returning, Ole Miss averaged just under 18 yards per return and had no return touchdowns. Still, it’s tough to pin the positives or the negatives too much on Biagi, given his one season as the lead coordinator.
As I’ve said before, it’s hard not to trust coach Freeman’s decisions on who he hires for his assistant coaching positions. To this point, he’s nailed every single one of them. It’s nice to get someone back in the door familiar with the Notre Dame football program like Marty.
Given how incredibly coach Mason excelled last year, he has some massive shoes to fill, but he has the experience as special teams coordinator and seems up to the task. Time will tell, but I love this move for the Irish. Yet again, I think Marcus Freeman has found the right person for the job.