Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Most Hands on Board | by Pat

A few of ND's newest assistant coaches managed to finally come out the other end of ND's lengthy hiring process and can now hit the road to help Brian Kelly and Tony Alford recruit. Mike Denbrock, Mike Elston, and Chuck Martin were officially announced late tonight on und.com.

Mike Denbrock, who coached at ND under Willingham, will coach tight ends at ND. Mike Elston, who coached the defensive line at Cincinnati will coach the same at ND while Chuck Martin, the former head coach of Grand Valley State, will assume the title of defensive backs coach. We'll dig a bit deeper into their bios in a later post, but it is worth noting that all three have a history of working with Kelly already. Denbrock was a GA at Grand Valley State with Kelly when both were starting out as coaches. Elston has coached under Kelly the past six years at Central Michigan and Cincinnati and Chuck Martin was hired by Kelly at Grand Valley State and worked with him for four years before taking over for Kelly when Kelly left for Central Michigan.

The three coaches have a collection of quotes up on und.com (Denbrock, Elston, Martin). Most of it is standard fare about being excited to be at their new job, but out of the ordinary, at least for ND, is the last Q&A, which clearly is designed for curious recruits (and anxious ND fans) about how the ND staff was approaching recruiting over the next few crucial weeks.

Mike Elston -- On his immediate plans:

"Right now the plan is to hit the road and tie up some loose ends on a few of the committed players. I might potentially follow some leads on kids we had evaluated at Cincinnati but were either out of our reach or have recently reopened their recruiting based on other coaching changes or different circumstances. So I imagine I'll be flying around the country here a little bit towards the end of the week and potentially ending up in San Antonio on Saturday."

Chuck Martin -- On what the immediate future brings:

"I'm going to head right to Chicago to visit a couple kids we have committed and a couple other kids we are working on trying to get committed. I think we are going to take inventory in the middle of the week. Obviously it is a mad scramble with all of the other staff members coming on board and I think we'll stay in constant communication with Coach Kelly on where we're going next. I'm prepared to go anywhere next. I know Chicago is my main area but I'm willing to go recruit anywhere in the country to find players for Notre Dame."

Mike Denbrock -- On his immediate plans:

"I'm already out on the road recruiting. I'm looking to make sure that some of the commitments Notre Dame has received remain committed while also working to get as many of the young men as we have targeted. I'm looking forward to sitting down with them and their families and present the mission of the University of Notre Dame. I want to make sure those young men know there is a quality education and a tremendous football program waiting for them to be a part of."
Someone is paying attention to the concerns of recruits (and anxious ND fans) over how Kelly and his new staff would adapt to national recruiting and when they would get out to visit with recruits. Not only did they include the above quotes and mentions of flying all over the country, but the intro paragraph of the official announcement itself brings up national recruiting right away.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -Three coaches with a combined 43 years of coaching experience with backgrounds in recruiting California, Florida and Chicago have been added to the University of Notre Dame football coaching staff, Irish head coach Brian Kelly announced Tuesday.
The coaches will be judged as recruiters by their results, but I like how they and the ND athletic department are being a bit more obvious about bringing up their experience and eagerness to recruit. With other teams using the past few weeks to plant seeds of doubt in the minds of ND recruits, the new Irish coaches will need that eagerness.