New York Jets linebackers coach Brian VanGorder will be the next defensive coordinator at Notre Dame, reuniting with Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly after the two coached together at Grand Valley State. With the Jets having been eliminated from playoff contention, VanGorder can join the Notre Dame staff almost immediately and begin working towards the 2014 season. Notre Dame wrapped up their 2013 season today with a 29-16 win over Rutgers at the Pinstripe Bowl, held at Yankee Stadium.
The New York Jets defensive staff has been raided once again for a defensive coordinator, this time with Brian VanGorder set to depart for South Bend, IN to become the next defensive coordinator at Notre Dame. Last offseason the Jets lost Mike Pettine to the Buffalo Bills and Bob Sutton to the Kansas City Chiefs, both taking on roles as defensive coordinators at their respective spots. It is another sign of the respect for Rex Ryan amongst coaching circles in both the NFL and NCAA.
Notre Dame lost defensive coordinator Bob Diaco to UCONN, where he took over as head coach recently. Rather than promote from within, Brian Kelly decided to reach back into his past and pluck Brian VanGorder from the Jets. Brian VanGorder was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Grand Valley State from 1989-1991. VanGorder also has NCAA head coaching experience during his time at Wayne State and has NFL defensive coordinator experience from his time with the Atlanta Falcons. VanGorder received the Frank Broyles Award as the top assistant coach in the country in 2003 as the defensive coordinator at Georgia. He joined the Jets in 2013 after spending 2012 as the defensive coordinator at Auburn.
Given the recent success of the Jets on defense, and the success of Jets defensive assistants that have moved on to become defensive coordinators, it looks like a good hire for Notre Dame. The Jets will now have to look for a replacement to coach the linebackers, whether an outside hire or a promotion from within the organization.
Football Scoop reported the hire.
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