Jan. 7, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Charley Molnar, who has helped produce record-breaking passing attacks at the last three schools he has coached, has been named offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Notre Dame, Irish head football coach Brian Kelly announced Thursday.
Molnar, whose past recruiting successes have occurred in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, has spent his entire 26-year coaching career on the offensive side of the ball at the collegiate level. He has spent 12 years as an offensive coordinator and 16 seasons coaching quarterbacks.
The past four years he coached alongside Kelly at Cincinnati and Central Michigan and helped develop record-breaking quarterbacks and wide receivers. With the Bearcats, Molnar was passing game coordinator and coached the wide receivers from 2007-09. He oversaw the two most prolific passing seasons in Cincinnati history and mentored a pair of record-setting receivers.
Wide receivers Mardy Gilyard and Dominick Goodman flourished with Molnar as their coach. Goodman played for Molnar from 2007-08 and initially set Cincinnati career records with 2,512 receiving yards and 22 receiving touchdowns. Goodman also tied the previous school record with 204 career catches. Gilyard received Molnar's tutelage from 2007-09 and broke Goodman's career records by recording 3,053 receiving yards and 25 TD catches. Fittingly, Gilyard also finished his Bearcat career with 204 receptions, tying the school record.
In 2009, Molnar's passing attack averaged 308.77 yards per game to rank eighth in the nation and the 4,014 passing yards set the Cincinnati single-season record. The Bearcats ranked fourth in the country in passing efficiency (161.21), thanks, in part, to a school record 39 TD passes. Cincinnati's high-octane offense averaged 447.5 total yards per game (11th in the nation) and tallied the fifth-most points in the Football Bowl Subdivision at 38.6 per game.
With Molnar's guidance, Gilyard became just the second Cincinnati player ever to be named an All-American by the American Football Coaches Association. He caught a school-record 87 passes for 1,191 yards with 11 TDs and ranked in the top 20 nationally in receptions and receiving yards per game. Gilyard was named first-team all-BIG EAST for the second year in a row and became the Bearcats' first player with multiple 1,000-yard receiving seasons.
Armon Binns developed into a solid complementary receiver opposite Gilyard in 2009. Entering the season, Binns had registered two career receptions for 19 yards and zero TDs, but Binns became a second-team all-BIG EAST performer under Molnar after totaling 61 receptions for 888 yards and 11 TDs.
Gilyard and Goodman both experienced career seasons in 2008 as Gilyard set the Cincinnati record with 1,276 receiving yards and Goodman totaled 1,028 yards receiving. The duo became the first Bearcats players to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards together in the same season since 1968 when Jim O'Brien and Tom Rossley accomplished the feat. Gilyard caught 81 passes and 11 TDs in his breakthrough season and ranked eighth in the nation in total receiving yards, en route to being named first-team all-BIG EAST. Goodman recorded 84 receptions (a school record, at the time) and seven TDs.
In 2007, Molnar's aerial attack proved a harbinger of things to come for Bearcats fans as Cincinnati passed for 3,720 yards and 36 TDs - both school records, at the time. The Bearcats ranked eighth in the country in passing efficiency (149.38) and averaged 286.2 passing yards per game to rank 20th nationally. Marcus Bennett was selected second-team all-BIG EAST after tallying a school-record 13 TD receptions.
Prior to Cincinnati, Molnar joined Kelly's Central Michigan staff in 2006 when he helped the Chippewas win 10 games for the first time since 1979. Central Michigan won its Mid-American Conference division, the MAC championship and was victorious in the Motor City Bowl. The Chippewas' offense ranked first in the MAC in scoring and second in passing.
Molnar coached the quarterbacks and wide receivers at Central Michigan and developed the most prolific freshman quarterback and wide receiver duo in the nation in 2006. Dan LeFevour was named MAC Freshman of the Year and was selected first-team all-MAC after he led the conference in passing TDs, passing yards, passing efficiency, completion percentage, total completions and total yards. Under Molnar's tutelage, LeFevour completed 247 of 388 pass attempts for 3,031 yards with 26 TDs. He also rushed 132 times for 521 yards and seven TDs and ranked 13th nationally in total offense (253.7 yards per game). LeFevour set school records for passing yards and TD passes, and his 3,552 total yards were also a Central Michigan record. He finished his rookie campaign ranked 19th nationally in passing efficiency.
On the receiving end of many LeFevour passes was freshman wide receiver Bryan Anderson who snagged a school-record 73 passes for 877 yards and five TDs. Anderson was also named first-team all-MAC and was selected a first-team freshman All-American.
Molnar completed a rare coaching feat at the conclusion of the 2006 season. Not only was he on the sidelines for 15 contests, including the 2006 MAC Championship Game, 2006 Motor City Bowl and 2007 International Bowl, but he coached the MVP in all three postseason games.
Molnar directed another record-setting quarterback during his only season at Indiana State in 2005. As the associate head coach and offensive coordinator of the Sycamores, Molnar's offense broke six school passing records (including passing yards, completion percentage and TD passes) and two of his players combined to break 11 single-season or single-game school marks. Quarterback Blayne Baggett completed 284 of 473 passes for 2,741 yards, all school records. Baggett's 284 completions were also a Gateway Conference single-season record. Wide receiver Sam Logan was the primary beneficiary, as his 77 receptions were a Sycamore record and his 849 receiving yards ranked second in school history. Logan was honored after the season as a first-team all-Gateway Conference performer.
Molnar coached quarterbacks from 2003-04 at Western Michigan and was forced to develop multiple signal-callers each season. In 2004, Molnar helped three quarterbacks combine to pass for 2,913 yards (264.8 yards per game) with 23 passing TDs. He also had to prepare three Bronco quarterbacks in 2003 as he guided them to the eighth-ranked passing attack in the nation with 3,701 passing yards (308.4 yards per game) and 31 TDs. Chad Munson passed for 2,123 yards with 18 TD passes in 2003, while Jon Drach completed 67.0 percent of his passes for 1,499 yards and 13 TDs.
A one-year stop at Eastern Michigan in 2002 as quarterbacks coach followed a one-year stint as wide receivers coach at Eastern Illinois in 2001.
From 1990-2000, Molnar spent time as offensive coordinator as well as working with quarterbacks and wide receivers at two universities. He worked for seven seasons from 1994-2000 at Kent State after he worked in the same position at Illinois State from 1990-93.
Prior to Illinois State, Molnar called the offensive plays and coached quarterbacks at Western Carolina in 1989. He made his first foray into major college football as a graduate assistant in 1987-88 at Virginia. With the Cavaliers, he assisted the quarterbacks coach.
Molnar's first coaching job came at his alma mater, Lock Haven University. From 1984-86 he worked with the wide receivers, tight ends, running backs and kickers.
A 1984 graduate of Lock Haven, Molnar earned his bachelor's degree in political science. He was born July 23, 1961, and he and his wife, Meg, have eight children: Charley III, Gillian, Tate, Bryce, Mitch, Gemma, Gianna and Dominic.
THE MOLNAR FILE