Notre Dame football reportedly loses assistant coach to the NFL

Just a few days after the Notre Dame football team thought it was going to keep its staff intact, the NFL came calling.
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) wears
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) wears / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Notre Dame football team thought it had survived the offseason without losing an assistant coach. Al Washington was the last one whom the Irish thought they were going to lose. Then he stuck around. It seemed like things were settled. 

Then the Los Angeles Chargers came calling. And all of the sudden the Notre Dame football team is on the lookout for a new safeties coach as Chris O’Leary is headed to the NFL. In hindsight, the hire makes so much sense, Irish fans should have seen it coming.

 O'Leary worked for the Chargers' new defensive coordinator, Jesse Minter, when both coaches were both with Georgia State. O’Leary moved onto Notre Dame. Minter went to Michigan. While the two men were working for rival programs, they clearly stayed friends.

Matt Zanitz was the first to announce the hire and it’s one that is actually going to do some damage to the Notre Dame football program. Despite O’Leary being one of those under-the-radar assistants. Washington and defensive coordinator Al Golden have gotten more press.

O’Leary is going to be one that will be hard to replace. He had a hand in turning Kyle Hamilton and Xavier Watts into All-Americans, has been safeties coach at Notre Dame for the last three years. As a cherry on the sunday, O’Leary was involved in the development of linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, who won the Butkus Award in 2020.

Notre Dame football loses assistant coach to the Los Angeles Chargers

More than just helping individual players, O’Leary’s unit helped the Fighting Irish become one of the best defenses in the country in 2023. Watts and the rest of that secondary were absolutely key to stopping opponents in their tracks.

Now he joins an NFL coaching roster that is chalk full of college football talent. It will be interesting to see if the Notre Dame football coach and his new colleagues can pull it off.