Report: Notre Dame Adding Chip Long as Offensive Coordinator

Photo: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire
Photo: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

Earlier today I wrote that all signs and logic pointed to Jeff Quinn being the obvious choice as Notre Dame’s next offensive coordinator.  Well, it wouldn’t be 2016 without some news out of left field that Memphis offensive coordinator Chip Long will be named the next offensive coordinator for Notre Dame.

As I wrote earlier today, the pressure is on Brian Kelly with this hire.  Kelly let a known commodity and proven recruiter Mike Denbrock walk away to be the offensive coordinator at Cincinnati.  It looks like Kelly did that knowing that he had Long lined up to take over the Notre Dame offense.

Chip Long comes to Notre Dame after serving as the offensive coordinator at Memphis under first year head coach Mike Norvell.  Prior to that, Long coached with Norvell at Arizona State where Norvell served as offensive coordinator prior to getting his first head coaching job at Memphis.  In Long’s first and only season as the OC at Memphis, the Tigers generated the nation’s 16th ranked offense scoring 39 points a game.  The Tigers pulled this off despite replacing a 1st round Draft Pick quarterback in Paxton Lynch.

Long worked with a first year quarterback this season – something he will do in 2017 with Brandon Wimbush at Notre Dame.  Riley Ferguson replaced Lynch and ended up breaking Lynch’s Memphis school record for touchdown passes in a season with 32. The Tigers also averaged more yards per play in 2016 with Ferguson than they did in 2015 with Lynch.  Those kind of statistics bode well for the Irish and Wimbush in 2017.

Just 33 years old, Long is considered to be one of the brightest up and coming offensive minds in college football in much of the same mold as Mike Sanford two years ago when Kelly lured him away from Boise State despite overtures from Urban Meyer.  Long did not have quite that level of interest, but he was rumored to have been pursued by Ole Miss to serve as their offensive coordinator.

On the recruiting front, Long has been ranked by 247Sports as one of the best recruiters in the country over the last several years.  In 2015 he was ranked in the Top 25 recruiters in the country by 247 and prior to that he was ranked as one of the best in Pac 12 during his time at Arizona State.

Long has a background coaching tight ends and served as the recruiting coordinator for Arizona State before leaving for Memphis.  With his background as a TE coach it would make sense for him to take over those duties from Scott Booker in addition to his role as offensive coordinator.

Given Brian Kelly some credit for this hire – he stepped outside his comfort zone and zeroed in on another young, up and coming offensive mind to join his staff.  Other than the addition of Sanford two years ago, that just isn’t something Kelly has done much of during his time at Notre Dame.

It’s doubtful we’ll hear anything official from Notre Dame until sometime next week based on all other recent hiring timeframes, but it looks like Notre Dame now has just one opening on its 2017 coaching staff at the wide receiver position.

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  1. I like to compare Notre Dame with the elite of college football to see how far away they are of being on that level. First of all , I believe Brian Kelly has recruited on those teams level on offense and special teams. The reason we haven’t shown it on the field is coaching imho. However, on defense , there is a huge gap between Notre Dames talent and Clemsons, Alabama, Ohio State , Washington, Lsu. The difference between Notre Dames dline and the above teams is enormous. It is easy for us to criticize Notre Dames secondary, but put them behind Alabamas front 7 with Nick Saban coaching them they may be really good.

  2. It’s sad to see what swarbrick has done to notre dame football. Can’t stand to watch these other teams bama Clemson osu washington as they are the real thing not s parody.

    Fire swarbrick in 2017

  3. If the head coach changes his approach to the game, especially on the offense, let coordinators do their jobs, act more like a CEO, maybe I will be more optimistic. 4-8 doesn’t go away easily in the mind. Watching the CFB playoffs, ND is NO WHERE NEAR those teams. But hey, we are privileged to be heading into Kelly’s 8th year as head coach, so we got that going for us, which is nice. Almost as good as total consciousness.

  4. New OC, now a new OL Coordinator….please. Just watched Ala’s OL open gaps for #9 and #2 to run through, easily. When asked about his performance, #9 (Scarborough)…responsed..
    ‘my Offensive Line, that’s it”. While ND is in a ‘clean house mode’ let’s sack Harry Heisand.

  5. Q: Can anyone else (besides me) see NotreDame building a future coaching staff? Sanford was a #1 coach, 40-y/o? Long is a dang-good coach. 4?-y/o? BK is warming-up the seats on the ND sidelines for the rehiring of these talented dudes. BK is nurturing coaching talent. That’s good. That’s also what I see. Feel free to disagree, but advice is to be an awesome-upper, not a damnable-downer. GoIRISH!

    1. Hey fellas , jeez crime a nee , can we move on to new optimism for 2017 ND team and the players returning and new QB Brandon Wimbush. I understand the importance of new hired coaches—-and much to 99.9 % of ND nation Coach Kelly is not welcomed back. But he is–for 2017. Let’s move on —and be optimistic with the 2017 squad of returnees. Let’s follow ND , the veterans , new recruits into Spring. See what shakes out heading to 2017 season. Put 4-8 season behind. If ND 2017 squad is —- Why can’t we fans ?

      1. Fine, but you guys same the same thing every year! I swear you guys are broken records. What will you be saying next off-season if BK and Co. go under .500? I bet we’ll get the same from you and “HURLS.”

        Given both your pathetic excuse-making for BK’s brand of mediocrity, don’t tell me you’re Pats fans. Bill Belichick would never accept such gross incompetence!

      2. George,

        He needed to find his Rosary to pray for us “Debbie Downers.” I guess it took him four months to find his Rosary.

        “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners!”

      3. No, “HURLS,” only butt around here is your head, as in “butthead”.

        I’m more of a ND fan than you’ll ever be. Seeing as I actually want to see them win rather than making excuses for BK, like you do all the time loser.

        As for “Belicheat,” if the shoe fits wear it!

        So be it, loser! Go root for your cheating Patriots.

  6. I acknowledge a bias on my part: “ASU’s Sun Devils (Tempe Normal Bulldogs, Owls) Football is the finest CFB standard in the nation as things currently stand. Superior quality. Chip Long is OK.

  7. We’ll see. Hopefully BK turns over the offense to Long. I don’t know about Long so I’ll have to go with what Frank says is a bright and up and coming coach. Sanford could have and should have been that guy all along, but I always believed he was held back by BK.

    It looks more and more like BK will be surrounded by a lot of assistants he does not know, there won’t be many left that worked with him previously. Hopefully that leads to results on the field. But BK still needs to look within himself to make changes as well.

    1. wadsworth white swarbrick and Kelly
      These guys made our legacy a joke
      An orgy of poor choices weak leadership Madison Avenue marketing and self indulgence
      They need a committee of former notre dame winners
      to recommend a new direction winning a new ad for football and a new hc
      Anything less is cowardice

  8. Frank, gosh you make it sound like Kelly would throw away his old buddy and roommate just to preserve his own skin. He’s not like that, is he?

  9. Looks great if,if,if,if Kelly let’s him have full control. If he does what Sanford did it’s a big waste in my opinion. The thing is Notre dame imho has great talent on offense. Just needs to be coached up.

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