Sanford replaces Chuck Martin, who accepted the head coaching job at Miami (Ohio) in December.
Sanford helped guide Boise State to a 12-2 season in 2014 that included a win over Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl. The offense finished No. 8 in total yards and No. 9 in points per game during his lone season as offensive coordinator.
Before joining Boise State, Sanford worked for Stanford, UNLV, Yale and Western Kentucky. He played quarterback for Boise State from 2001 through 2004, and his father is the head coach at Indiana State.
The Irish went 8-5 last season, ending the year with a win over LSU in the Music City Bowl. They finished No. 35 in total yards and No. 40 in points per game. After rumors of a potential transfer, quarterback Everett Golson is expected to return next season.
- Paul Palladino