(UHND.com) – Reports surfaced from various media outlets on Friday afternoon that Rick Minter would not be back as defensive coordinator for Notre Dame next year with New York Jets defensive backs coach Corwin Brown taking his place. Brown, a former captain at Michigan in the mid 90’s, has not been officially introduced by the University, but it is believed a announcement will be coming in the next few days.
Rick Minter’s defense has been under fire since surrendering over 600 yard of offense to Ohio State last year in the Fiesta Bowl. Blowout losses to Michigan and USC in the regular season exposed Notre Dame’s defensive short comings even more culminating with last week’s embarrassing loss to LSU in the Sugar Bowl.
Rumors had been floating around the internet that changes to the defensive coaching staff were coming and Friday’s news is the first definitive proof.
Brown comes to the Irish after spending a year under new head coach Eric Mangini with the Jets. This past season, his secondary went eight consecutive games without a single pass interference penalty and his players gave him a lot of credit for their disciplined play.
Irish fans might remember Brown from his days at Michigan and his involvement in one of the more spectacular runs in recent Notre Dame history by Reggie Brooks in 1992. Brown was one of the Michigan defenders who missed Brooks on his way to his option touchdown in which he was knocked unconscious as he crossed the goal-line.
While Brown may lack the “big name” appeal that an established coordinator would have brought, this is a great hire for the Irish. Brown is a Chicago native played in the Chicago Public League (CPL) and whose parents both taught in the CPL giving him a nice connection to the Chicago area.
Browns ties to the Chicago area, especially the CPL, should be a great asset for this staff when it comes to recruiting. Notre Dame has been trying to establish a stronghold in recruiting the Chicago area since Weis took over and the addition of Brown should only strengthen Notre Dame’s presence in that area.
This past season Ron Zook wreaked havoc with recruiting the top talent in Illinois most notably with Martez Wilson. Wilson has come down to the Irish and Illini before deciding on Illinois. One would have to think that Brown’s presence on the staff will help the Irish with future recruiting battles in the area.
Brown also has some strong ties with Charlie Weis after playing on teams that Weis was an assistant on for six seasons during his eight year NFL career. In his last stint with the Jets, Brown also coached under Eric Mangini who coached with Weis on the Patriots Super Bowl teams.
During his first coaching gig, Brown coached the special teams at Virginia on top of being one of their better recruiters. Brown played a large role in the top 10 recruiting class that Virginia landed in 2002 and is said to be an excellent in-home recruiter.
No other moves on the defensive side of the ball have been named at this time, but widespread speculation across the internet suggests more moves might be made once Brown is officially in place.
One other coaching move that has been reported by the South Bend Tribune, however, is the departure of quarterbacks coach Peter Vaas and the promotion of Ron Powlus to fill that role.
We’ll have more on this move by Weis as more information becomes available.