University of Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly announced his 2012 coaching staff to the media Friday inside Isban Auditorium at Guglielmino Athletics Complex. Kelly's coaching staff has combined to coach 199 seasons of football in their collective careers.
Kelly announced that three of his four defensive coaches from last season will remain with the same position groups they had in 2011: Mike Elston will coach defensive line, Bob Diaco will work with the linebackers and Kerry Cooks continues to coach cornerbacks. Bob Elliott was hired from Iowa State as safeties coach. Diaco was promoted to assistant head coach while Cooks added the title of co-defensive coordinator.
Offensively, Chuck Martin moves from defense to serve as offensive coordinator and coach the quarterbacks. Tony Alford will return to coaching running backs but will continue to work with the slot receivers in 2012. Mike Denbrock moves from tight ends coach to outside wide receivers coach and adds the title of passing game coordinator. After serving as an intern for the offensive staff the last two years, Scott Booker was hired to coach the tight ends. Harry Hiestand was hired from Tennessee as offensive line coach and serve as running game coordinator.
Booker will coordinate the special teams but each assistant coach will have an area to direct on special teams. Alford assumes the role of recruiting coordinator for the Irish in 2012.
Josh Reardon and Pat Welsh have been hired as graduate assistants for 2012. Reardon will work with the defensive staff while Welsh will assist the offensive coaches. Reardon coached the last four seasons at Holy Cross (outside linebackers coach in 2011) and Sacred Heart (defensive coordinator and secondary coach in 2010, secondary coach in 2009 and defensive line coach in 2008). He was a graduate assistant at Central Michigan from 2006-07 and was a member of the Chippewas football team from 2001-04 as a long snapper. Welsh graduated from Grand Valley State in 2010 and worked with the Lakers football team as a student assistant in 2008 and 2009. In 2010, Welsh served as a defensive assistant before being hired as a graduate assistant for the 2011 season.
Bill Brechin and David Grimes will serve as interns this spring for the football staff. Brechin, an intern with the Irish the last two years, will continue working with the offensive staff while Grimes, a former captain of Notre Dame's football team, will work with the defensive coaches. In August, NCAA legislation will change allowing institutions the ability to have four graduate assistants. Brechin will join Welsh as graduate assistants for Notre Dame's offense while Grimes will join Reardon as defensive graduate assistants.