Troy University announced that Notre Dame offensive coordinator Gerad Parker has been hired as its next head football coach. Parker replaces Jon Sumrall, who went 23-4, winning the Sun Belt in each of his two seasons at Troy.
In addition to being offensive coordinator at Notre Dame, Parker served as interim head coach at Purdue as well as an assistant at West Virginia, Penn State, and Duke. Though Parker does not have direct ties to Troy, he played at Kentucky when former Troy head coaches Neil Brown and Jon Sumrall were assistants there.
Parker's departure leaves an opening in South Bend. Maybe Parker going is good for head coach Marcus Freeman and Notre Dame's administration. What happened with Notre Dame not wanting to pay Andy Ludwig's buyout to hire him away from Utah was well documented. With Parker leaving, they must be willing to pay for a top-notch offensive coordinator.
The Irish have made no bones about wanting to ascend to college football's elite again. Freeman has improved the high school recruiting and has two better signings from the transfer portal. He and his staff are doing an outstanding job of amassing the talent despite the attrition from the portal. Now, the Irish need to swing for the fences for an offensive coordinator.
Notre Dame football gets to move on from Gerad Parker
Garrett Riley did not work out well at Clemson in 2023; however, you like the move. Head coach Dabo Swinney knew that something different needed to be done at Clemson, and he took a big swing and hired Riley. Freeman needs a similar mentality when it comes to this next offensive coordinator hire.
Even more importantly, he needs someone that will stay. This next hire will be Freeman's third offensive coordinator in three years. With a young quarterback prospect in CJ Carr waiting behind Duke transfer Riley Leonard, stability cannot be understated.
Freeman and Notre Dame football must know that if they want a high-end coordinator, they must ante up and pay top dollar for one.