December 9, 2001
By Chris Pool
The IrishEyes.com News Service
NOTRE DAME, IN (IE) --
The anticipation is over. Notre Dame has its new head football coach and although
he isnt the fans number one choice, I think Kevin White made a
A news conference is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Joyce Center Sunday afternoon. It wont take the fans very long to warm up to George OLeary. Coach OLeary is the reason Im in the recruiting business. He was my very first contact and I learned a lot from him and his staff about evaluating talent.
What can Notre Dame fans expect?
A coach that will embrace the Notre Dame tradition and everything the school stands for. A coach that is firm but fair with his players.
OLeary demands a lot from his players but hes also a players coach and best of all hes a fantastic teacher and developer of talent. Ive seen very few coaches work the practice field like he does.
Coach OLeary is a winner. He was the defensive coordinator on Georgia Techs 1990 National Championship team. Hes been named coach of the year. He brought Georgia Tech from mediocrity in the mid 90s back to national prominence in 2000.
George OLeary is also an excellent recruiter. Hes one of the best closers in college football. OLeary and his staff not only had to fight for recruits with in-state power, Georgia but they also fought Florida State, the rest of the ACC and most of the SEC for recruits.
Many of the current Notre Dame players were recruited by OLeary and his staff. Nick Setta had Georgia Tech on his short list. So did Gary Godsey, Corey Mays, Jeff Faine, Sean Milligan and Dan Stevenson.
If OLeary is named head coach, will he bring his staff with him?
I think its a safe bet that Coach OLeary brings most of his staff with him. Offensively, Georgia Tech runs a wide-open attack and offensive coordinator Bill OBrien has been on OLearys staff since 1995.
OBrien also serves as the Tech quarterbacks coach and he was responsible for the development of Joe Hamilton and George Goose Godsey.
Lance Thompson is one of the best recruiting coordinators in the business, David Kelly is a great (wide receivers) coach and hes also a super recruiter. Defensive tackles coach, Peter McCarty was at Illinois two years ago, now he may be headed back to the Midwest.
Ted Roof is in his third season as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for Georgia Tech. Roof is a former Yellow Jacket great (linebacker) and was inducted into the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame in 1998.
Will George OLeary retain any of the current Notre Dame staff?
Good question. Greg Mattison is one of the best recruiters and defensive minds in the business. The Fighting Irish defense did look sluggish at times but there were also times when they looked fantastic.
Another great hire would be the re-hiring of recruiting coordinator, Bob Chmiel. I dont know if Chmiel would be interested because he was wronged at Notre Dame.
Chmiel was personally responsible for most of the recruits that played at Notre Dame under Lou Holtz and he was loved by his players. Why Bob Davie got rid of Chmiel, Ill never know. Guess well have to wait for the book to come out.
What I do know is that Chmiel was a great recruiter and he was very well liked and respected by hundreds of high school coaches, especially in the Midwest.
Chmiel is a Chicago guy. A blue-collar man that high school coaches in Chicago, Ohio and Western Pennsylvania could relate too.
If George OLeary is named the next head football coach at Notre Dame, youll see the bounce back in the step of players, the students, the alumni and the fans.
Youll see a tough football team and an exciting football team on the field. Youll see a team that will spread the field with four wide receivers and run the ball between the tackles. The running backs and wide receivers that OLeary and his staff have developed are endless.
Youll see players being taught and developed. Youll see coaches preparing for games and making adjustments on the fly.
Most of all youll see an Irish coach from the East Coast, embrace Notre Dame and all that it stands for. I dont think youll hear any references to his former employer.
Georgia Tech is one of the best schools in the free world. OLeary had to recruit student-athletes at Tech and hell do the same at Notre Dame. The difference is that hell win doing it he better or else!