Notre Dame will have a different look from a coaching standpoint in 2021, and it won't just be the new faces. Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly announced today there will be new roles for Mike Elston and Brian Polian as well.
Polian has been named the associate head coach to go along with his special teams coordinator duties. Elston will remain the defensive line coach, but he will now also be the recruiting coordinator and run game coordinator for the defense.
Elston had previously served in the recruiting coordinator role, but Polian had manned that job since he returned to the program in 2017. Elston was previously the associate head coach. The moves will also likely come with pay raises for both coaches.
Here is what Kelly said about the moves in the release from Notre Dame this morning:
"These were two very beneficial moves as we continue to develop our staff,” said Kelly. “As special teams coordinator, Brian Polian engages with a lot of the team on a regular basis and in implementing game day decisions. He is essential in helping us understand NCAA legislation, and in building relationships within and beyond our program. Likewise, Mike Elston has done a tremendous job in recruiting and is a natural fit in that role. He has had success designing and organizing our recruiting efforts, and we look forward to him leading us there. Additionally, his expertise with the defensive line can assist us in our run game preparation and coordination."
Of course, Notre Dame has also added new faces in new places, with Marcus Freeman being hired away from Cincinnati to coordinate the defense, and former graduate assistant coach Chris O'Leary being promoted to the safeties coach.
I will have an article out later today going into greater detail, but Kelly keeping Elston on staff after going outside to hire Freeman was a huge, important move.
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