Bob Diaco named assistant head coach, Chuck Martin named offensive coordinator, Kerry Cooks named co-defensive coordinator, Scott Booker promoted to full-time assistant and contract extensions for assistant coaches announced
Led a defensive line unit that helped permit only four rushing touchdowns in 2012 (and the first did not come until the eighth game of the year). The Irish led the FBS in fewest rushing touchdowns allowed.
Notre Dame held eight different opponents to under 100 yards rushing in '12. Only one FBS team in the nation allowed fewer than the Irish. No FBS school held more BCS automatically-qualifying schools to sub-100 yard rushing games than Notre Dame in '12.
Notre Dame limited its foes to 3.47 yards per rush, which ranked 17th in the FBS. The Irish had not completed a season with a lower yards allowed per rush since 2004 when Notre Dame allowed 2.7 yards per carry.
Notre Dame collected 34.0 sacks in 2012 and 23.5 of them (or 69.1%) came from the front three. The Irish were able to consistently rush three without having to blitz that often to create pressure on the opposing quarterback.
George Atkinson ranked 19th in the nation in kickoff return average at 26.1 and was a key reason the Irish kick returns moved from 75th in the NCAA in 2010 to 36th in 2011.
Kicker David Ruffer converted more PATs without a miss in 2011 than anyone in Notre Dame history (47-47).
In first season at Notre Dame, helped turn around Irish defense as well as coordinated special teams efforts that included an All-American caliber placekicker.
The defensive line aided the Irish efforts in holding opponents to 4.0 yards per carry in 2010, almost a yard fewer than the '09 Irish defense permitted. In Notre Dame's four-game win streak to close the 2010 season, the Irish allowed only 2.9 yards per rush against Utah, Army, USC and Miami. Those four teams combined to average 4.9 yards per carry against the rest of their respective schedules.
The starting defensive line combined for 12 sacks and 15 tackles for loss.
Ruffer flourished with Elston's tutelage as he was named one of three finalists for the Groza Award, presented annually to college football's top kicker. He converted his first 18 field goal attempts of 2010 before missing his final kick of the season, snapping his school record streak for most consecutive made field goals in a season (18) and career (23).
In his only season as Cincinnati's defensive line coach, Elston was forced to replace all of his starters while helping to implement a new defensive scheme.
The results were an attacking defensive front in 2009 that limited its opponents to 3.6 rushing yards per carry and helped lead Cincinnati's defense to the third-most tackles for loss and 10th-most sacks in the nation.
The Bearcats' defensive line combined for 57 tackles for losses and 25.5 of the team's 37 sacks for the season.
Cincinnati was led in 2009 by Ricardo Mathews and Alex Daniels, two first-year starters at defensive end. Mathews received second-team all-BIG EAST honors and led Cincinnati with 12.5 tackles for loss. Daniels paced the defensive line with 56 tackles and led the team with 8.5 sacks.
Elston served as special teams coordinator in 2009 for the third straight season and helped Mardy Gilyard earn the BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Year award for the second consecutive year. Gilyard averaged 30.5 yards on 42 kickoff returns and returned two kickoffs for touchdowns. He also averaged 12.6 yards on 16 punt returns including one punt return for TD.
Elston's kickoff return unit ranked second in the nation, averaging 28.5 yards per kickoff return, and only three schools returned more kickoffs for TDs than Cincinnati's three returns. His punt return unit averaged 13.0 yards per return which ranked 17th in the nation.
Under Elston's direction, Kevin Huber was selected as the first-team punter on the Associated Press' All-America team in 2007 and 2008. Huber was also tabbed a first-team All-American in 2008 by the American Football Coaches Association and the Football Writers Association of America. He ranked seventh in the nation, averaging 45.0 yards per punt, and helped the Bearcats lead the nation in net punting at 41.5 yards.
Cincinnati became only the fourth team in NCAA FBS history to lead the nation in net punting in consecutive seasons.
Huber was selected in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Gilyard also was named BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Year in 2008 after leading the BIG EAST and ranking 11th nationally by averaging 27.6 yards on 36 kickoff returns. Gilyard returned two kickoffs for TDs, the first a 97-yarder at Oklahoma and the second for 100 yards at West Virginia.
In 2007, Huber was named a consensus All-American and recipient of the BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Year award after he led the nation averaging 46.9 yards per punt. Huber also helped the Bearcats rank first in the nation in net punting at 39.6 yards.
In 2006, he served as Central Michigan's special teams coordinator and linebackers coach and instructed two all-Mid-American Conference linebackers, including the top tackler in the league.
Elston's work with special teams in 2006 sparked a drastic improvement in the punting unit, which finished 19th nationally in net punting.
Spent the 2005 season as the Central Michigan co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach. He helped develop a unit that led the MAC in rushing defense, allowing 113.7 yards per game, a major improvement for a team that ranked last in the MAC in rushing defense two years earlier.
Worked directly with defensive end Dan Bazuin who led the nation with 26.5 tackles for loss and tied a MAC record with 16 sacks.
Bazuin later became a second-round NFL draft pick by the Chicago Bears in 2007.
Elston was a member of Michigan's football team from 1993-96 and lettered for the Wolverines as an outside linebacker from 1994-96. Michigan finished in the top 20 each year he lettered and he helped the Wolverines to a 25-12 record in his four seasons.
Stephon Tuitt (Notre Dame)
2012 Athlon Sports First Team All-American
2012 CBS Sports First Team All-American
2012 Walter Camp Second Team All-American
Louis Nix III (Notre Dame)
2012 CBS Sports Third Team All-American
David Ruffer (Notre Dame)
2010 Lou Groza Award finalist
Dan Bazuin (Central Michigan)
Led NCAA with 26.5 tackles for loss in 2005 and tied MAC record with 16 sacks; Second-round NFL draft pick of Chicago Bears in 2007
Kevin Huber (Cincinnati), Cincinnati Bengals
2007 and 2008 first-team All-American; 2007 BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Year
Mardy Gilyard (Cincinnati), St. Louis Rams
2008 and 2009 BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Year