Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2022

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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BY TYLER HORKA N ew Notre Dame wide receiv- ers coach Chansi Stuckey saw replays of the previous days' proceedings over and over in his mind. He couldn't shake the thought of them. People from all over the country com- ing together for a collective goal under a unified brand. A sense of camaraderie lending itself to clarity. Objectives spe- cifically spelled out without having to dot the I's or cross the T's. "It was a unique feeling," Stuckey said. "I had never seen anything like it." He knew then and there, flying south from Santa Clara, Calif., to Los Angeles, that his life was on the verge of changing forever. One phone call was all it would take. A man of conviction, Stuckey be- lieved that. So did Jock McKissic, a longtime friend who saw the same compelling situation in Santa Clara. Stuckey tried to settle back into his life in L.A. despite mentally drifting back to the Bay Area at every turn. So, he made the call, with some persua- sion from McKissic. On the other end of the line was the man responsible for the operation Stuckey was so enamored by. The one he couldn't stop thinking about. "That's when he told me he was really feeling called back to football," Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney told Blue & Gold Illustrated. "And I told him that I think the best coaches are those who are called to coach." 'MAN, I COULD BE AROUND THAT EVERY DAY' It was January 2019. Football hadn't been top of mind for Stuckey for seven years. Clemson won its third na- tional championship and second in the last three seasons. McKis- sic and Stuckey were there to see their alma mater win it all. They were teammates at Clemson in the mid- 2000s, a decently successful era but not anything comparable to what the Tigers have done in the last decade. Still, winning wasn't new to McKis- sic. He attended the national title game two years prior when Clemson beat Al- abama for its first national champion- ship in 35 years. He has tried to make it to at least one game in Clemson for the past several seasons. Close with Swin- ney, McKissic was the reason Stuckey was able to see the ins and outs of Clemson's preparation in the days lead- ing up to the game at Levi's Stadium. Those events were certainly new to Stuckey, who hadn't been as tightly connected to Clemson since graduating. Stuckey starred for Swinney, then the Tigers' wide receivers coach, from 2003- 06. He was a two-time All-ACC First- Team selection. The accolades were nice, but to Stuckey they paled in comparison to the culture created by Swinney since he took over as head coach in 2009. A ROCKET SHIP Notre Dame wide receivers coach Chansi Stuckey didn't take a traditional path to coaching, but now that he's here he's ready for takeoff Stuckey, who came to Notre Dame after one season as the wide receivers coach at Baylor in 2021, is already making waves on the recruiting trail for the Irish. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER 26 JUNE/JULY 2022 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED

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