Diaco to UConn

One year removed from winning the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant, fourth-year Irish defensive coordinator Bob Diaco has accepted a head coaching job at the University of Connecticut.

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly noted last week that the departure of offensive coordinator Chuck Martin for a head job at Miami, Ohio, might not be the last from his 2013 coaching staff.

He was prescient in his assessment.

"You never know. I know that my coaches won't leave for lateral moves," said Kelly. "They'll have to be leadership positions. So I'm certain of that. But if there's a head job out there that makes sense for one of the assistant coaches, I'd look at them. I have really good football coaches."

Five of Kelly's eight initial hires are gone including three that held coordinator positions: ex offensive coordinator Charley Molnar is the head man at Massachusetts; Martin left earlier this month and Diaco exited today. Offfensive coordinator Ed Warinner (2010-11) and running backs coach Tim Hinton (2010-11) both left following their second seasons in South Bend to occupy the same titles at Ohio State.

"If the right situation comes along, all these guys, especially the ones that have been with me a long time, they know what it looks like. They'd be great at running programs."

Diaco takes over a Connecticut team that finished 3-9 in 2013 and fired it's second-ever FBS era coach, Paul Pasqualoni, in-season. Pasqualoni succeeded Randy Edsall who parlayed an 8-4 2009 season -- one that included an overtime upset over the Irish in South Bend -- to the head job at Maryland.

Diaco succeeds interim head coach T.J. Weist in Storrs with his departure from Notre Dame.

Co-defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach Kerry Cooks, running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Tony Alford, defensive line coach Mike Elston, and wide receivers coach/passing game coordinator Mike Denbrock serve as the lone holdovers from Kelly's nine-man staff hired upon his arrival for the 2010 season.

Denbrock will coordinate the offense during its preparations for Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl. It's assumed Cooks will do the same for the Notre Dame defense.

IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories