South Florida running backs coach Autry Denson is expected to join Notre Dame in the same role, according to sources.
Denson was in South Bend on Tuesday, per the sources. It would be Denson’s fourth job in 13 months and a return to his alma mater, where he played running back from 1995-98. He is the Fighting Irish’s all-time leading rusher (4,318 yards).
Denson, 38, was hired at South Florida last month after spending this past season as running backs coach at Miami (Ohio). Prior to that, he coached running backs at Bethune-Cookman from 2011-13.
A Davie, Fla., native, Denson was head coach at Pope John Paul II High in Boca Raton, Fla., in 2010 before joining the college ranks. He was a seventh-round pick of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1998 and spent four seasons in the league.
Denson later played in the Canadian Football League for a season and has participated in the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship. He will be at least the third new face on the staff of Fighting Irish coach Brian Kelly this next season.
Earlier this month, defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks and running backs coach Tony Alford left for assistants jobs at Oklahoma and Ohio State, respectively. Boise State offensive coordinator Mike Sanford is joining Notre Dame in the same role and Vanderbilt cornerbacks coach Todd Lyght is also coming aboard.
Notre Dame went 8-5 this past year, and Kelly has a 45-20 mark with the Irish in five seasons.