Rocket Ismail, Jerome Bettis, and the Golics to Be Honorary Coaches

Notre Dame, Ind ( — Last year Charlie Weis brought in Joe Thiesman, Joe Montana, Chris Zorich, and Tim Brown to be honorary coaches for the Blue-Gold game. This year he dipped into Notre Dame’s NFL connection once again and recruited Rocket Ismail and Jerome Bettis to be offensive coaches with brothers Mike and Bob Golic coaching the defense.

Weis’ decision to bring back former players last year received rave reviews from fans and this year is no different. Today’s recruits might not realize just how many players Notre Dame has sent to the NFL because it has been a while since Notre Dame has had a marquee first round pick type of player in sometime so bringing them back from a recruiting standpoint is an excellent move.

If you look at the former players he got this year, you have to think that Weis plans out who he is targeting to come back and be honorary coaches. Now I may be reading a little too much into this, but based on Weis’ meticulous planning, I don’t think I am.

Last season Weis needed to get some offensive recruits to Notre Dame so who did he ask to come back and coach? Three of the most successful Notre Dame alums in the NFL in the last 30 years. He got two marquee quarterbacks — Joe Montana and Joe Thiesman and one of the game’s all-time best wide receivers Tim Brown.

The results? Notre Dame got commitments from two top 10 quarterbacks and had serious interest according to internet rumors from the #1 rated quarterback as well. Weis also got Chris Zorich to coach last year. Weis said early on he wanted to open up the Chicago pipeline to Notre Dame back up which made Zorich, a Chicago native, a very wise choice.

This year the names Weis got might not be as marquee, but from a strategic standpoint, I love the choices. First off, you have Rocket Ismail, the best skill position player at Notre Dame in almost 20 years. Ismail is also one of my all time favorite Notre Dame players which will make seeing him back on the sidelines even better. Next is Jerome Bettis, the media darling of the Super Bowl. No one player got more press than Bettis during the Super Bowl making his popularity sky high right now.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Golic brothers are also a wise pick. Bob Golic was a great player for the Irish back in the 70’s and a 3 time Pro Bowler in the NFL. He also happens to host a radio show in Akron, Ohio and is a football analyst in Cleveland giving him a nice audience to talk to about his coaching experience in the talent-rich state of Ohio. Mike Golic also has a nice audience with his ESPN radio show Mike and Mike which is also broadcast on ESPN2 in the morning.

All four of the honorary coaches Weis has gotten this year were standout players for Notre Dame and should help with Notre Dame’s recruiting efforts to any recruits visiting for the Blue-Gold game or who happen to have ESPN2 and catch Golic’s show in the mornings before school.

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