Longtime Notre Dame assistant to join Brian Kelly at LSU

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Brian Polian, Notre Dame’s assistant head coach and special teams coordinator appears to be headed to join Brian Kelly at LSU. Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports and The Athletic presented the news on Twitter on Tuesday morning.

As Feldman points out, Polian has experience from the time he spent at Texas A&M, albeit for just one season in 2012. There a few other things about losing Polian that interest me the most from Notre Dame’s perspective.

As has been well-discussed by many, Marcus Freeman brings no head coaching experience to his new role. That’s not to say it’ll be the Achilles heal to his ultimate success at Notre Dame, but one would think an assistant with head coaching experience would be important for his first staff.

Losing Polian, who was Nevada’s head coach from 2013-2016, certainly doesn’t answer that question. Offensive line coach Jeff Quinn, who we’re still unsure the future of, is the only other current assistant with such experience as he was Buffalo’s head coach from 2010-2014.

Next: Polian’s Rainbow (Hawaii) Connection

What’s also worth discussing are Polian’s ties to the state of Hawaii. Notre Dame has had a pipeline to much of the state’s top talent for years and that’s in no small part to Polian. Manti Te’o, Jordan Botelho, Marist Liufau, Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, and Robby Toma are just a few of the Hawaii products that have gone on to big things at Notre Dame in the last decade.

That’s not to say Polian was a one-trick pony and only recruited Hawaii as he served Notre Dame well on the west coast in general, recently helping to get Tyler Buchner among plenty of others to campus.

Like Freeman talked about in terms of elevating things in the Notre Dame football program, Polian was clearly pretty good at his craft. But if he was the best recruiter on the staff previous to Freeman’s arrival I think it speaks to just how high of level of recruiting Freeman sees possible at Notre Dame.

And that’s really stinking high.


Notre Dame coaching staff tracker

Manti Te’o through the years

Everything Marcus Freeman said at introductory press conference

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