Last year the Notre Dame coaching staff was able to maintain complete consistency following their run to the National Championship game. This year, that won’t be the case. Just three days after Notre Dame’s regular season finale, offensive coordinator Chuck Martin accepted the head coaching position at Miami University of Ohio after serving as an assistant for Brian Kelly the past four seasons.
Martin’s name was connected to a few head coaching vacancies a year ago after Notre Dame’s run to the title game, but none of them were enticing enough for Martin to leave Notre Dame – a place he truly loves. When the head coaching vacancy at Miami – a school known by the nickname the “Cradle of Coaches” – opened up and the Redhawks came calling though, Martin had to listen.
In a statement released by Miami, Martin said:
“I am excited to be joining the Miami football family and want to thank David Sayler for this incredible opportunity,” said Martin. “I look forward to getting back to the excellence Miami stands for and am excited to hit the ground running.”
The decision to leave for his first major, Division I coaching job was not an easy one to make, however. As Martin told Irish Illustrated, Notre Dame is a place that is very near and dear to Martin.
Martin has been an outstanding assistant coach for Notre Dame since joining Brian Kelly on his first staff in 2010 starting as a defensive backs coach before being named the offensive coordinator prior to the 2012 season. Prior to coming to Notre Dame, Martin was actually a head coach at Grand Valley State but took a job as a position coach with Kelly in part because of his relationship with Kelly and his love for Notre Dame.
Martin’s relationship with Kelly is what will be the toughest to replace for Kelly and Notre Dame. Kelly may be able to find someone better at X’s and O’s, but he will be very, very hard pressed top find someone whom he is as close to who also loves the University of Notre Dame as much as Martin. Those two qualities are what made Martin such an integral part of Notre Dame’s resurgence following the failed coaching regimes of Davie, Willingham, and Weis.
On the field and on the recruiting trail, Martin excelled for Notre Dame. Prior to being promoted to offensive coordinator a season ago, Martin also served as the recruiting coordinator for the Irish for two seasons including the year the Irish hauled in the likes of Stephon Tuitt, Aaron Lynch, Ishaq Williams, Everett Golson, DaVaris Daniels, and the rest of the current junior class.
CSN Chicago reported earlier this evening that Mike Denbrock will serve as the offensive coordinator for Notre Dame for the bowl game with Martin likely to hit the ground running at Miami where he has more than his fair share of work in front of him. The Redhawks were 0-12 in 2013, but were 10-4 just a few seasons ago under another former Notre Dame offensive coordinator – Mike Haywood. Haywood left after one season at Miami though.
Despite having the daunting task of taking over a program that went winless this past season, Martin steps into a head coaching gig that has a history of producing great head coaches. Woody Hayes, Bo Shembechler, and a guy named Ara Parseghian were all head coaches at Miami of Ohio early on in their careers.
With Denbrock in line to serve as offensive coordinator through the bowl game and Kelly serving as the quarterbacks coach until then as well, Notre Dame will look to replace Martin following the bowl game. Denbrock and running backs coach Tony Alford both figure to be internal candidates for the position should Kelly look to promote from within for the position.
We wish Coach Martin the best of luck at Miami and thank him for all he’s done in helping the Irish qualify for four straight bowl games for the first time in almost two decades and in restoring some of the glory to Notre Dame football.