DelVaughn Alexander Unofficially Rounds out Notre Dame Staff

ASU Sports Information
ASU Sports Information

Notre Dame had one more opening on it’s 2017 coaching staff that has now been reportedly filled.  Notre Dame is set to hire DelVaughn Alexander sometime between now and National Signing Day after that swift background check process allows Notre Dame to officially announce the hiring.  Notre Dame officially unofficially hired Clark Lea as linebackers coach earlier this week.

And with that, we may just have the 2017 Notre Dame football coaching staff.  That is, of course, once official word on the defensive line coach is announced although all reports indicate that position will be filled by Mike Elston with Lea on board to coach linebackers.  That would mean that the odd man out is Keith Gilmore, but again, there’s been no official word from Notre Dame here.

  • QB: Vacant but potentially could be filled by Tommy Rees once the 10th assistant coach position is approved
  • RB: Autry Denson (holdover)
  • WR: DelVaughn Alexander (new hire)
  • TE: Chip Long (new hire)
  • OL: Harry Hiestand (holdover)
  • Offensive Coordinator: Long
  • DL: Mike Elston (holdover)
  • LB: Clark Lea (new hire)
  • DB: Todd Lyght (holdover)
  • Defensive Coordinator: Mike Elko (new hire)
  • Special Teams: Brian Polian (new hire)

That’s four holdovers and five new assistants for Notre Dame.  Like the rest of the new hires that we have profiled, both Lea and DelVaughn appear to be great additions to the Notre Dame coaching staff for a variety of reasons.

Both Alexander and Lea have familiarity with the new coordinators systems.  Lea coached linebackers at Wake Forest this past season under Mike Elko.  With Elko reportedly bringing his 4-2-5 system with him, having a coach familiar with what is required of the linebackers in his scheme is a huge plus for Notre Dame.

Lea, just 35 years old, is the third Notre Dame assistant under 40 years old to be added to the staff this off-season joining Elko and Long.

Alexander coached with Chip Long on staff at Arizona State before Long moved to Memphis with Mike Norvell last year.  Alexander has coached wide receivers and most recently tight ends following Long’s departure last year.  Alexander brings more experience to the coaching room at a seasoned 45 years old.  He also brings some serious recruiting chops – something Notre Dame will need big time over the final three weeks of this recruiting cycle.

Alexander, a Southern Cal alum, has a reputation for being a fantastic recruiter and has deep ties in California – Los Angeles specifically – after years coaching and playing in the Pac 12.  With the loss of both Mike Sanford and Mike Denbrock, Notre Dame lost it’s best California recruiters in the process.  Adding Alexander to the mix along with the return of Brian Polian should help off-set those losses.

It’s likely we won’t hear anything official for a few more days, but there are already reports of Lea being on the road recruiting this week once the dead period ends.

Notre Dame has been taking a beating on the recruiting front the last few weeks with decommitments from Paulson Adebo and Elijah Hicks most recently.  The new assistant coaches will need to hit the recruiting trail and hit it hard as Notre Dame continues to send out new offers and put out feelers for possible late additions to the class.   That starts on Thursday and Brian Polian is ready to get after it.

Just how many additions they will be able to find between now and Signing Day remains to be seen. All indications, however, are this new staff has recruiting chops at least on par with their predecessors and in the case of Elko, his recruiting process should be considered a serious upgrade over those of Brian Vangorder.  But that shouldn’t really surprise any one.


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  1. As I indicated previously – these new coaching additions represent a net loss in experience and quality. The entire debacle could have been resolved if Kelly had been fired – as he should have. However, the powers to be decided to blame the failures of the past seasons on the coordinators and assistants rather than the head coach. Just incredible – but none of the faithful should be surprised when the whole sorry scnario repeats itself next season.

  2. I always get bashed for wanting 5-star recruits. But hey, it works for OSU, Mich, Alabama and now Clemson. How the heck did we ever let 5-star QB Hunter Johnson out of our backyard and down to Clemson? You can’t always expect to coach up a 3-star and expect him to be something he is not. I’ll take some 5-star talent any day of the week. Tired of seeing updates like this: 3-star intrigued by ND offer or 3-star thinks highly of ND offer. Low hanging fruit is the last resort of also ran and average teams. We seem to be sinking ever lower into the depths of mediocrity. I can’t recall the last news item of us knocking on the door of some 5-star must have. The hot seat is getting hotter, who will BK blame when things go wrong this time?

  3. Do NOT fire HH. The O-line has underperformed, given their size. But as NDCrazyMike says, (ie) HH ain’t the problem. I sense a new attitude must be fomented off-the-field. Responsibility.

    1. @Hurls…responsibility, great, but then how about teaching ‘teamwork’. Vital for an OLineman to know not just what his responsibility is but also what is the responsibility of the guy next to him. We are seeing in each of the ‘championship’ teams of both college and pros, the winning team has an OL that can both protect and open gaps. I haven’t seen that result from HH in 2 years. Start anew, fire HH.

      1. @MRP, because…when was the last time we had a running game? If we can’t do both pass and run in the same game, we lose. This year was an example of not only ‘not able to run’ but also not giving our QB enough time to execute. You have to agree Kelly is blind to the shortcomings of his trusted entourage, witness how long it took for him to acknowledge that BVG was not getting the job done. Similarly, HH has outlasted his usefulness by 2 years. Fire HH, give the new guy someone he trusts.

      1. Geo…as soon as possible, work at it. Maybe stop overloading with athlete/finesse guys and focus on budding ‘Clowney’ types. They have to be out there. If you can’t recruit one, turn your fastest, strongest LB into a rush end. I always felt Jalen was ideal for that role.

  4. We are no where to be found in top 25 teams for next year in USAToday. we’ve got a lot of work to do.

    1. That’s a good thing. ND’s last championship run came after being unranked in the preseason. Lots of talent returning on both sides of ball. This is a top 25 team for sure.

      1. To be a top 25 team, you have to win at least eight games.
        2017 Football Schedule
        S02 TEMPLE
        S09 GEORGIA
        S16 @ Boston College
        S23 @ Michigan State
        S30 MIAMI(OH)
        O07 @ North Carolina
        O21 SOUTHERN CAL
        N04 WAKE FOREST
        N11 @ Miami(FL)
        N18 NAVY
        N25 @ Stanford

        Need ten wins to get to a big 6 bowl. At least eleven to be considered for the final four.
        The five road games are all dangerous, and that’s assuming ND sweeps at home (Georgia?/SC?)
        “Just the facts, M’am” (Joe Friday, Dragnet)

        And for true confirming doubt about what’s coming,
        the next few schedules beyond this year’s look more difficult.

        Winter View Haiku

        Hiestand,Denson, Elston, Lyght
        One last go for BK too
        Young new staff brings hope

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