Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2017

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

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20 FEBRUARY 2017 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY MATT JONES W hen the 2017 season kicks off between Notre Dame and Temple at the fully reno- vated Notre Dame Stadium, the assistants on the sideline and in the coaches booth will be quite different. Following a miserable 4-8 finish in 2016, head coach Brian Kelly had significant staff turnover, including changes at the three most important on-field spots. Notre Dame will have new offen- sive, defensive and special teams coordinators next year, sweeping changes leading into a season that figures to be critical for Kelly's long- term future with the Irish. "Everything is on the table," Kelly said after the season-ending loss to USC. "I have to evaluate a lot of things within the program. There are some really good things in place, but I've always felt the blend of continu- ity and change is the sweet spot. "We need to clearly look where that is, because it was off, and so I have to clearly look where that mix of continuity and change is." Here is a timeline of the staff changes that have occurred since the season ended: Dec. 12: Mike Sanford leaves Notre Dame for the head coaching position at Western Kentucky. Sanford, 34, spent two seasons as the offensive coordinator/quarter- backs coach for the Irish, molding signal-caller DeShone Kizer into a likely high draft pick. When Jeff Brohm left Western Ken- tucky to become the head coach at Purdue, the Hilltoppers targeted the former Boise State quarterback to take over the Conference USA program. "This is an incredible opportunity for a tremendous football coach and an even better person," Kelly said in a statement released by Notre Dame. "Mike possesses all the quali- ties you'd want in a head coach — clear communication, organization, commitment, passion and an astute teacher of the game. "As a coach's kid, Mike learned these traits at a young age and de- veloped them throughout his career, especially over his two years at Notre Dame." Under Sanford in 2016, Notre Dame's offense ranked No. 64 in the country, averaging 417.6 yards per game. Dec. 14: Scott Booker fired as special teams coordinator/tight ends coach. Booker joined Notre Dame's staff as a coaching intern in 2010 before being elevated to a full-time assistant in 2012. A skilled recruiter, Booker's CHANGES AFOOT Notre Dame undergoes staff overhaul Brian Kelly has made sweeping changes to his coaching staff — including new coordinators for the offense, defense and special teams — after a disappointing 4-8 campaign in 2016. PHOTO BY JOE RAYMOND

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