Notre Dame football rumored to have Chris O'Leary replacement plan

While the Notre Dame football team is down a safeties coach, it looks as though the Fighitng Irish are going to handle it in house.

Notre Dame cornerbacks coach and defensive pass game coordinator Mike Mickens during Notre Dame
Notre Dame cornerbacks coach and defensive pass game coordinator Mike Mickens during Notre Dame / Greg Swiercz / USA TODAY NETWORK
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The Notre Dame football team is down a safeties coach. Chris O’Leary is on his way to join the San Diego Chargers. He’s doing so just days after the Irish thought they would keep the staff intact after Al Washington was passed up for the Boston College head coaching job.

February is always challenging for college coaching staff to find new hires. Most teams are getting ready for spring practice, and most coaches aren’t looking to make a move at this point unless it’s a rather blatant promotion. That’s why recent reports indicate that the Notre Dame football team will replace O’Leary in-house.

In keeping things in-house, the Fighting Irish are shifting their staff around a bit and will also offer up a promotion to someone who has gotten some rave reviews inside the Notre Dame program. The first step to replacing O’Leary is the promotion of Max Bullough, according to Tyler Horka.

The next step in this restructuring is that Mike Mickens is adding a bit more to his plate. Before O’Leary departed, he oversaw safeties, and Mickens coached cornerbacks. Now Mickens will take over coaching the entire secondary.

In other words, both men are getting a bit of a promotion. It’s the kind of promotion that could keep Mickens around for a little while longer, as he’s likely getting a pay raise to go with his new responsibilities. Of course, it will almost certainly help him to move out the door as well.

Notre Dame football rumored to have Chris O'Leary replacement plan

Mickens was a candidate for the Cincinnati Bearcats’ defensive coordinator opening this winter. He didn’t end up getting the job. It stands to reason that when he goes to interview next time, having the entire secondary under his purview alone will certainly help.

For now, the Notre Dame football team can just rest easy in knowing its hole in the staff won’t be around long.