I know there is a segment of our fanbase calling for a big name to be hired. By that, I think those people mean someone with a great deal of credibility and a recognizable name and resume.
For the most part, I believe Coach Kelly would agree about the credibility part. His definition of credibility is probably much different than that of the average fan, however. We think in terms of names that are out there in the press: guys who reporters constantly site as premier position and assistant coaches. Coach Kelly, on the other hand, looks towards other coaches to tell him who is credible.
Take Hiestand, for example. Coach Kelly was reported, more than a few times, of having told how he polled a number of coaches about who would be good to coach the offensive line. Time and time again, he heard Harry’s name as being someone very highly regarded.
“When I was searching to fill this position, I asked some of the most respected offensive line coaches in football whom they would recommend and Harry’s name was routinely mentioned as one of the best. His history of developing NFL-caliber offensive linemen speaks for itself, and I know our linemen will learn a lot from him.”
Fortunately, Harry was available. It did not matter to Coach Kelly that he was not well regarded at Tennessee or that he had been let go of by the Bears a few years back. According to our head coach’s very wide network of colleagues, guys like Chip Kelly, Bill Belichick, and Urban Meyer, he was the guy; and regardless of how much the average fan bitched and moaned about it, Kelly was bound and determined to make him our next OL Coordinator.
Kelly, Hiestand, Hoge, and Elliott
Expect the same thing now. If anything, Coach Kelly has more contacts than he had back when he selected Diaco while at Cincinnati, or decided to retain Alford when he came to Notre Dame, or chose Harry a couple years ago. He will take his time, talk to all those insiders that he has met as he climbed his way up the ranks, consider the talent he currently has on his staff, and choose a couple coaches who he believes will best compliment his current staff.
It will be coaches who can recruit, who can be team players, and who will fit in at Notre Dame. It will not be some Jon Tenuta experiment or a darling of the media. It probably will be a guy who makes you and I about as happy as fans were when he brought in Diaco, Martin, Elliott, and Hiestand. In other words, not very. Thank God for that.