Report: Mike Sanford Leaving Notre Dame for HC Gig?

Monday, December 12, 2016 is shaping up to be a rough day for the Notre Dame offense.  After Deshone Kizer announced he was leaving for the NFL earlier in the day, reports have surfaced that Mike Sanford is expected to be the next head coach at Western Kentucky.  So far there has been confirmation from either side or any comment, but multiple outlets have reported definitively that Sanford is at the very least interviewing for the position.

Photo: Matt Cashore / USA Today Sports
Photo: Matt Cashore / USA Today Sports

If accurate, Sanford would be replacing Jeff Brohm at Western Kentucky after Brohm left WKU for the head coaching vacancy at Purdue earlier this month.   As of early Monday evening, however, there were still some conflicting reports.  Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel Sanford was expected to be named WKU’s head coach while other reports stated Sanford was just interviewing at this point.

This would be a homecoming of sorts for Sanford who coached the quarterbacks at Western Kentucky in 2010 before joining the staff at Stanford in 2011.

Mike Sanford is considered a rising star in the coaching ranks and was a surprise hire by Brian Kelly in 2015 after Sanford turned down an offer to be the offensive coordinator for Urban Meyer’s Ohio State Buckeyes.  Since arriving at Notre Dame, Sanford has been seen as a positive influence on the Irish offense and a major reason for the units prolific attack a year ago.

While the Irish offense fell off this year, Sanford’s star was still shining bright and many were suggesting that he be handed over more duties and play calling responsibility this year.  That looks like it might be impossible now if Sanford is indeed named the head coach at Western Kentucky.

This would be a big blow for Notre Dame.  The Irish are already in search of a new defensive coordinator and Sanford is considered one of the brightest up and coming coaches in the country.  In short, the Irish are losing one of the best assistants and will now be in search of two new coordinators.  All of this on the heels of a near historically bad 2016 regular season.

Aside from the loss of a great young coach, the Irish would be losing one of their top recruiters as they attempt to hold on to a strong recruiting class and build on a heck of a foundation for the class of 2018.  Sanford played an integral role in the recruitment of Phil Jurkovec – the #1 rated QB in the class of 2018.  Sanford was listed as primary recruiter for 2017 commitments Paulson Adebo, Isaiah Roberton, and Avery Davis as well.

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  1. Entirely expected, entirely natural, entirely approved by this poster.

    Notre Dame will never again, I surmise, hire a coach who has not had head coaching experience after the Brennan, Faust and Weis fiascos.

    WKY is exactly the king of Conf USA/AAC launching point that has served Matt Rhule, Justin Fuente, Willie Taggart and Jeff Brohm very well. It’s a wise move and you can bet that Daddy was whispering in Mike’s ear every step of the way.

    The offense will probably return 9 starters in South Bend and that is enough to say grace over.

    When Sanford came on board, as one of the hot assistants in America, the over/under on his departure would have been 2 1/2 years, with money slightly tilted toward the over. So it cam in under.

    I mean come on guys, this is Notre Dame. We once had a head coach leave right after a National Championship season. We moved forward.

    His name was Frank Leahy and he enlisted in the Navy after the ’43 championship season.

    What is VITALLY IMPORTANT is that Mike Sanford now has served at Notre Dame, and in the future, perhaps after he is ensconced at his next job after Western Kentucky, he will be a top candidate for the Notre Dame head job.

    For the “King” I care about Sanford, but coaches’ career paths are coaches’ career paths. change happens./

    Let patience do its perfect work.

    1. SteelFanRob
      December 16, 2016 at 4:20 pm

      To All Our Posters:

      “Dick Arrington” (a.k.a., “Duranko” or “duranko”) just used my personal email to access a group list of friends asking them for “spiritual intervention” for me.

      Below is the email he sent unsolicited to my friends, totally violating my privacy, I might add. With the exception of deleting my name for the sake of privacy, the rest of the text is unedited and totally the words of “Dick Arrington.”

      “We need to think, in this nativity season, about scheduling an intervention with ——-.

      He has begun posting evil, nasty hateful things as Steel Fan Rob on some website called – Notre Dame Football, Basketball, & Recruiting

      His posts are filled with vitriol, personal attacks, hate, animosity,. and anger

      and it’s just silly football.

      Don’t take my word for it, just look up his posts and use your own conscience.

      Football can never, EVER hurt our souls

      It’s a kid’s game played with an oblate spheroid covered in the skin of a pig.

      But THIS can defile us, per our savior.

      …18But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a man. 19For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander. 20These are what defile a man, but eating with unwashed hands does not defile him.”…

      Can you help —- with his anger, his hatred, his vitriol, his evil thoughts, his misplaced priorities over this silly game of football?

      God bless you all and may you, with angelic heraldry, with the simplicity of the shepherd and the joy of the wise men’s wisdom, celebrate the nativity, the incarnation, a hint half guessed a gift half understood…….

      Merry Christmas”

      This is the second time my privacy has been violated on this website. Previously, the gutless “Ron Burgundy” posted my actual name and even my employment information.The administrators on here have been nonchalant in their response to my concerns.

      I think all of us here should be concerned about these breaches of our personal information and our privacy.

      Now, it should come as no surprise to those of us who are used to “Dick’s” self-righteousness and grandstanding that he should resort to this kind of inquisitorial posturing. But, really, to use a private email and mailing list?! That’s even below him.

      The hypocrisy of this man is equally egregious. He calls for a “spiritual intervention” for me. I guess he’s without sin and can therefore not only cast the first but the only stone!

      It seems that I have gotten “Dick Arrington’s” (a.ka., “Duranko” or “duranko”) goat so often, and that he’s totally unable to refute my points intellectually, so he has to resort to this shenanigan and low blow, violating someone’s privacy like this. So much for his moral high ground!

      I just wanted to share this all with you as a cautionary tale of the breaches of personal records, privacy, and policy allowed by this site.

      Happy Holidays!


      How many times have I upon some self-reflection, apologized if I felt I had said something hurtful to some one? Has “Duranko” ever apologized for his hurtful and hateful words on this site?!

      I dare our archivist-in-residence “Burgundy” to find all the times I have apologized and tried to make peace with posters I’ve had heated exchanges with. Then I dare him to find the posts where “Duranko” or “duranko” has done the same thing. Let’s see who has actually humbled themselves and who hasn’t!

      I bet not one of us here, if we were playing a word-association game, would first think of humility when describing “Duranko” or “duranko”!

      Peace to all.

      GO IRISH!

  2. From his intro presser, Sanford said he got a speeding ticket yesterday in Carmel, Indiana, (5 mph over) driving from Indiana to WKU.

    KInd of fitting that Sanford is happy to be leaving Kellys’ “oppressive regime” and got pulled over by an even bigger one: the Shithole of Indiana

  3. I would have liked to have seen BK hand over the offense to Sanford to see what he could do with it. I always thought Sanford was being held back because of BK’s active role in coaching the offense and it would have been nice to see Sanford be the offensive coach in duties as well as name.

    I don’t necessarily hold this particular issue against BK though. I am no BK fan at this point, but most assistants do want to be a head coach someday. Even Saban loses assistants to promotional opportunities so it happens. I do think ND should make an effort to retain Sanford though. If BK really wanted to show he was adapting, he’d try to counteroffer whatever Western Kentucky was offering and offer to give Sanford full coaching responsibilities on the offense.

  4. And now ND is pursuing the Wake Forest DC. Talk about an unimpressive resume. This must be a joke. I’d rather stick with Hudson. At least Hudson is a Domer and not a Quaker.

    1. He has an impressive resume, George, more impressive than yours.

      Hudson has hung no pelts. Elko has made a silk purse out of a sow’s ear in Winston Salem…

      It is not a joke.

      Do some research, George. Make FACTS your friend.

      1. Here’s the ever-humble “duranko,” our very own gold standard of civility and high-mindedness, making peace with “Geroge” in his own inimitable way. I guess his last comment “Make FACTS your friend” to “George” is not hostile at all?!

        How’s the eye condition, “duranko”? removed that log wedged in there tight yet?

      2. Hey, “Dick,”

        It’s just a silly game of football, played by kids. So what are you getting so worked up about that you have to post on here so much?!

  5. I know a lot of people are extremely high on Sanford but lets not forget he was a big part of this years past team that went 4-8. So before we all start panicking lets ask what are we really losing here? Most people are calling for Kelly’s job (which I agree) but if Kelly were to be replaced its not like Sanford would be held over by whichever new coach was hired.

  6. Kizer Sanford Zaire all gone
    The problem is that the head stinks not the players
    No one is loyal to Kelly
    But Swarbrick
    The ship is sinking

    1. I completely agree. I can understand and even somewhat accept some failures on or off the field but as a proud ND alumni I can not accept failing at both and that is exactly what Kelly as managed do.

  7. Kelly’s career success was a great string of great staffs, on field talent, and breaks. Whether he ever admitted that to himself, or ever even knew it, it has run its course.

    He has now been exposed as a poor (but now rich) head coach.

    He monetized it as optimally as anyone could have….he should take some pride in that. I stull think he owes Manti Teo a very, very big thank you.

    As for ND……y’all got played like a fiddle.

  8. This guy loves ND. If he ever hopes to come back as the head coach he knows he needs to get the ball rolling on a couple stops . I was afraid he was going to the brown eyes as the OC. This is only going to help our head coaching pool in 3-5 years . I wish Tom Clements would have done this years ago, but he didn’t want to deal with the moving & job changing. I don’t think these QB prospects will defect . It’s a position coach change not a head coach change .

    1. Depends why Jurkovec wants ND. I’m suspecting Sanford played a key role in his recruitment, and that BK wasn’t the main reason he was interested in ND. So the good news is BK being on the hot seat might not deter from Jurkovec staying with ND. If he’s the #1 QB in his class, I’m hoping WKY looks less appealing than ND. But if Sanford leaves, the door will be wide open for the elite programs to pursue.
      We’ll find out soon enough.

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