According to a report from ESPN’s Pete Thamel, Notre Dame is hiring former Ohio State linebackers coach Al Washington as its new defensive run game coordinator and defensive line coach.
The 37-year-old Washington spent the last three seasons with the Buckeyes but was not retained after Ohio State hired new defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, who will now coach the Buckeyes' linebackers. He replaces Mike Elston, who was recently named as the defensive line coach at Michigan after 12 seasons with the Fighting Irish.
Washington, who turned down an offer to become Tennessee’s defensive coordinator last offseason, coached three players who were selected in the NFL Draft during his time in Columbus, including Malik Harrison in 2020 and Pete Werner and Baron Browning in 2021.
He also excelled on the recruiting trail, helping the program land commitments from five-star prospects C.J. Hicks and Sonny Styles, as well as four-star Gabe Powers in the current cycle. However, his unit – and the defense as a whole – struggled this season, forcing head coach Ryan Day to make sweeping changes to his defensive staff.
Notre Dame’s staff, meanwhile, now includes a pair of former Ohio State linebackers in head coach Marcus Freeman and James Laurinaitis, whose role has not yet been announced, as well as its former linebackers coach in Washington. The Fighting Irish open the upcoming season on Sept. 3 against the Buckeyes in Columbus.
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