"We're very excited that we're going to be able to keep our staff in place," Kelly said at a Champs Sports Bowl luncheon on December 28.
"We're going to be able to announce that and I can tell you this: they're already guys that have been on Notre Dame's campus. We're going to have continuity within our staff and maintain that this year."
As noted often among the local Irish media last week, former offensive intern Scott Booker was indeed promoted to a full-time assistant position today.
But despite proclamations to the contrary, expected staff attrition came to fruition as Tim Hinton, the team's running backs coach, and Ed Warinner, the offensive line coach and running game coordinator, have left the program to pursue other opportunities.
As reported on Irisheyes.com's Football Forum throughout December, Hinton is likely to join Urban Meyer's staff at Ohio State, with recent reports indicating he'll coach the Buckeyes' tight ends next season. News of Warinner's defection today came as a surprise to many close to the program.
Promoting from withinIn addition to Booker, defensive coordinator Bob Diaco added the designation of assistant head coach, and safeties coach Chuck Martin was named as the team's new offensive coordinator, replacing former OC Charley Molnar who left the staff to become the head coach at UMass in early December.
Also receiving a promotion is cornerbacks coach Kerry Cooks, who ascended to the role of co-defensive coordinator. It is assumed Cooks, a former All-Big 10 and NFL safety, will coach the defensive backs as well with Martin's move to the offensive side of scrimmage. Diaco, according to a release from Notre Dame athletics, will continue directing the Irish defense.
"One of our first priorities when we arrived at Notre Dame was building a championship-caliber defense," Kelly said through a University release. "Bob has done an outstanding job with our defense and I'm excited we are able to keep one of the best young defensive minds in college football here."
Martin followed Kelly as Grand Valley State's head coach from 2004 through 2009, directing the Lakers offense to the tune of 35.1 points per game.
"Chuck is a very talented coach that will make our offense better in the future due to his knowledge of our offensive system as well as how defenses like to attack it," Kelly said in the release. "I wanted someone that knew the system I'm familiar with and our experience coaching together will make for an easy transition. Chuck did a great job directing the Grand Valley State offense after I left and led the program to unprecedented heights. I look forward to witnessing the impact he'll have on our offense."
Cooks, who served as the team's outside linebackers coach in 2010 and cornerbacks coach last fall, will aid Diaco as the co-defensive coordinator.
"Kerry is one of the rising stars in our coaching profession," Kelly offered. "He has been a great teacher to our players and I look forward to big things from him and his position group in the future."
Booker's position will be assigned at a later date but the offensive intern over the last two seasons also coached defensive backs for five seasons at Kent State and Western Kentucky – the latter in 2009 before he joined Kelly's staff in 2010.
"I'm really pleased to keep Scott Booker with the Notre Dame football family," Kelly said through the University's release. "He has been on a two-year job interview and he has shown me he has all the qualities to be a great coach at the University of Notre Dame. Scott has an infectious passion for football and great knowledge of the game. I think he will be a terrific coach for our players and a dynamic recruiter for the program."
Each of the quartet above received contract extensions, as did remaining assistants Tony Alford, Mike Denbrock, and Mike Elston.
"Tony, Mike and Mike are three very valuable members of our coaching staff and I'm thrilled they have agreed to contract extensions," Kelly said. "During the past two years they have helped us create the strong foundation for future success that is now in place. I look forward to working with them as we continue to build a championship-caliber program."