Notre Dame Football is probably going to have to replace Al Golden before too long, but the good news is, his replacement might already be in town.
One of the repercussions of a program being as good as Notre Dame Football has been the last couple of years is that there is near constant talk about other teams coming calling for your coaches. Earlier this week, that talk started regarding quarterbacks coach Gino Guidugli after Iowa fired offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz.
Even before the first year Golden Domer offensive coach started getting notice, there was plenty of low key talk about the job defensive coordinator Al Golden has done this year. His unit is among the best in the country. It’s carried Notre Dame Football to multiple wins.
That probably means he’s got one foot out the door. Multiple analysts have talked about the likelihood that Golden will take a job as a defensive coordinator in the NFL.
If Golden leaves, Notre Dame Football will be scrambling to find a guy who can keep the defensive momentum going. If you listen to head coach Marcus Freeman, they may already have their replacement in town.
Talking about his coaching staff during his Monday press conference, Freeman showered defensive backs coach Mike Mickens with praise.
“I absolutely think Mike Mickens is ready to be a defensive coordinator.”
Freeman pinpointed Mickens’ ability to evaluate talent as well as developing players are huge pluses. It feels as though he made those comments as a kind of hint at where he might go if there is a defensive coordinator opening this winter.
Notre Dame Football hiring within?
There are obviously some positives and negatives to Freeman hiring Mickens, if that ends up being the play.
Notre Dame Football fans aren’t in love with the last promotion from within Freeman made when he named tight ends coach Gerad Parker the offensive coordinator. Earlier this year, Parker was very much on the hotseat.
The big difference here, however, could be that the perception was the Fighting Irish settled on Parker after they couldn’t lure some other big-name OCs to South Bend. Maybe Freeman has already learned from that reaction.
There’s just a different feeling when an assistant has already been hyped up as the best man for the job and then he gets that job. It might tamp down expectations of a bigger name.
All of this is moot at the moment as Al Golden is still the defensive coordinator for Notre Dame Football. If that changes, don’t be surprised if Mike Mickens steps into the void.