While ND is still looking for their new head coach, the coach temporarily in charge of the program has moved on to a more permanent job title. The University of Akron introduced Rob Ianello as their head coach this afternoon.
''My lifelong dream has been to run a football program at the highest level, and there is no better place to begin that journey than right now at the University of Akron,'' Ianello said.Ianello joins Mike Haywood as former Charlie assistant coaches now running their own MAC conference teams. His career path towards becoming a head coach seemed apparent when he was named assistant head coach (offense) for ND at the beginning of this season, but he still is in the small club of head coaches who have never been a coordinator before.
Good luck to Rob and his family in the future. Hopefully his future is more like the last wide receiver coach to leave ND for his own head coaching gig in the MAC rather than the last ND coach to leave South Bend and take a job at Akron.
The impact of the move on ND depends on how quickly the program can land a head coach. Ianello was running the recruiting operation and the sooner his duties can be handed off to the guy who will be coaching the players next season, the less chance for doubt and whispers from other coaches to sway the currently committed and interested players. There still might be a few bumps in the recruiting road ahead though as losing the man in charge organizing recruiting (and that includes current juniors and sophomores as well) tends to result in a few names slipping through the cracks. Coaches like Brian Polian and Tony Alford are now that much more important for keeping the recruiting plan in place during this time of transition.