Mike Elston Expected to Stay at Notre Dame

Shortly after news broke that Bob Diaco would be leaving Notre Dame to be the next head coach at UConn, it was reported that Diaco had plans on offering Notre Dame defensive line coach Mike Elston his defensive coordinator. That doesn’t appear to be the case according to a tweet from Elston and a report from the SBT.

Up until yesterday it was unclear what Elston’s future held.  Saturday night though he sent out a tweet that left little for interpretation.

Further some further confirmation, Brian Kelly told the South Bend Tribune on Saturday that he expects to keep all of his assistants other than his coordinators –  both of whom have already accepted head coaching positions this off-season.

For Notre Dame, keeping Elston is huge.  With the loss of both coordinators there is going to be a lot of new faces on the staff next year – even if Kelly were to promote from within for his coordinators – losing another assistant would have made it even tougher to retain the current recruiting class and close it out strong.  Elston is a dynamite recruiter for the Irish and if Kelly were to lose him from his defensive staff, it would have made it challenging to keep all of the defensive commitments on board.

Luckily for the Irish it sounds like Elston will be staying on board with the Irish and there is still the possibility that he will get promoted to defensive coordinator after the bowl game even though Kerry Cooks will be serving as interim coordinator for the Pinstripe Bowl.  In the same SBT article reference before, Kelly said that while having coordinator experience would be ideal, it would not be a mandatory requirement as he looks to replace both Bob Daico and Chuck Martin.

Speaking of Diaco, the now former defensive coordinator was back on campus at the end of the week to address the defensive and explain why to some players why he left suddenly and unexpectedly.  Given some of the reactions that appeared on Twitter – some of which were quickly deleted – having Diaco back to talk with the team was a great idea and a good way for him to say goodbye to a group of players he has spent so much time with over the last four years.

There haven’t been any substantial rumors regarding replacements for either Diaco or Martin yet, but don’t expect Kelly to bring in someone with a radically different offensive or defensive system.  Notre Dame has spent the last four years recruiting for a specific defense and has a deep roster recruited for that system.  Whoever replaces Diaco will be expected to run a similar style.

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  1. Weis went out and got a d-coordinator in Tenuta and it was a bomb. Orgeron would be a disaster here he ran a 4-3 st USC. He was also the D-line coach. Get someone who knows your system and can run it. I lime the fact that the system is BK’s and not the D-coordinator

  2. ExUSC coach ED might work if BK thought he could run his system. Remember it took Manti until his Jr and Sr season to fully understand his reads and attack the ball. I would hate to change completely but would like a more attacking D vs the bend but don’t break that keeps our players on their heels. WIth the talent we have I think we should let them play more. Use their athletic abilities to attack more like Ala, and LSU do.

    Really wish BK would have started MZ at qb and let Rees back him up.

    Frank, What are the odds of us getting another shot at Hooks? You think after watching BK bench TF after rushing for 140+yds one week to only getting 4 carries the next, what gives?

    1. It would be a hard swallow to have a USC guy come to ND. Orgeron wants a head job anyway. I bet he’ll get on somewhere. He could be a good coach, but prbably not a Notre Dame guy.

  3. People need to separate Diaco’s move and Notre Dame’s needs. Diaco did something good for himself and his family. He did not do Notre Dame any dis-service by following his ambitions. And yes, he could return someday depending. It would be great to have someone stay in the Irish coaching staff for 20 years as some have done in the past. But that is unlikely in today’s climate, and shouldn’t be expected.

    But make no mistake, Notre Dame’s football team needs a top notch defensive coordinator. Defense is what wins ball games as everyone has heard the saying. It’s what put the Irish on the precipice last year. All anyone can ask for is continuity with some progress in areas that Diaco either didn’t get to yet, or would improve upon the foundation.

    I’d like to see the same scheme, but with a little more attention to improving linbacker consistency. I’d also like to see some work done to give coaches confidence that the CBs could play tighter coverage. You’d love to see some interesting coverage that allows for risk in terms of making big hits and aggressive attempts on the ball, even if that means big yardage at times.

    If Kelly does go outside, I’m with you, Shaz, avoid the high priced mercenary, “guru”. Get the guy that will be called guru in 2 years having proved himself next year and thereafter.

    1. C–Dog,

      I would like to see the ability for either OLB to rush the passer. I think that when you have one drop and one rush OLB it is easy for QB to rotate protection. Also more pressure up the middle from the middle linebackers. Allow the corners to play one on one with one deep safety.

      1. Jack,
        I agree. I thought they did start playing the corners that way by the middle of last season. It’s been one of my frustrations this season to watch. You feel like the CBs on the field have the ability to play like shut down corners.
        And yes, one of the nice things about the 3-4 is that you can bring in an OLB around the edge. They’ve done that too.
        Not much needs to change.

  4. well, hurls not to put too fine a point on this, if a man is loaded with fortitude pretty much between the bottom of the sternum and the kneecap, I’m okay with it.

    1. I would rather see Kelly promote from within (keep it in the family) for the Coodinator jobs then fill the vacated assistant spots with younger, hungry guys, that are relentless recruiters, have a passion for coaching, who are willing to work their way up the coaching ladder, and can relate (communicate) with today’s players.
      (much like Bob Diaco did)

      That keeps the passion up and helps build coaching / player continuity.

      Who wants some over priced, self-absorbed coordinator, disguntled with not getting a head coaching job and having to take a latteral move.

      Anyone remember Jon Tenuta?
      He didn’t coach, he didn’t recruit, all he did was sit in the pressbox and make faces.

  5. I hated to hear BK will be looking for the same type of defensive coor-
    That means a laid back defense with no push. Sit back and wait. This is not
    what defensive types strive for.

    1. I have been frustrated with play calling at times, but I don’t think the defense scheme is necessarily laid back. I think it’s more a matter of someone who is ready to take a few more chances. Diaco did some very interesting things last year. A similar philosophy but with the added ability to adjust more readily, and the confidence to take just a few more risks isn’t much of a change.

    2. The Defense was riddled with injuries before the season even started and it just got worse as the season went on. There was just no way this D was going to equal 2012. Considering the circumstances Diaco and the rest of the staff did a pretty good job. One thing we got to see this year was just how difficult it was going to be to replace Manti Teo.

  6. I would not be in favor of Elston becoming the DC. THIS is NOTRE DAME and we can go out and get an OC and DC of the highest magnitude. Our offensive scheme has been antiquated enough now and the DC needs to get us back to where we need to be. Keeping ALFORD is the best news if that is indeed true. The coaching staff here needs a good makeover just like our entire team does. I am glad Elson stayed. Our recruiting is paramount and we need to get top line players in here and we still have a chance. GO IRISH!

  7. Frank the last paragraph is “wisdom.” Thanks for that.

    Further, it is so typical of Diaco and his highly classy values and Christian faith that he came back to look the players in the eye. That’s when men, Christian men do.

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