Irish Bowl Bid Up in the Air

Notre Dame athletic director Kevin White met with the media Tuesday afternoon to announce the firing of Notre Dame football coach Tyrone Willingham. On Sunday, the Irish accepted a bowl bid to the Insight Bowl held in Tempe, AZ on Dec. 28, and whether the Irish still plan to play in the bowl game is currently up in the air according to White.

"The University has determined that Tyrone Willingham will not be retained as the Notre Dame head football coach, and I informed Tyrone of that decision this morning," White read from a prepared statement.

"He personally has displayed impeccable integrity and tremendous character—and his players have represented themselves off the field in a first-class manner. We simply have not made the progress on the field that we need to make. Nor have we been able to create the positive momentum necessary in our efforts to return the Notre Dame program to the elite level of the college football word."

"We will immediately begin a national search for a new football coach," White also added.

The Irish had accepted a bid to play in the Insight Bowl on Sunday, but White said the status of that bowl bid is still up in the air.

"The bowl game decision has not yet been made and I would suspect we will have a response to that question later this evening," said White when asked who might coach a bowl game for the Irish.

"We haven't done a thing in terms of the search at this point," said White when asked if he has spoken to anyone about the vacant coaching position.

The Irish were also scheduled to hold their annual football banquet this weekend, and also had scheduled a number of official visits from top recruiting prospects for the weekend.

The banquet appears to still be on schedule according to White.

"The football banquet will proceed. We are in conversation about making the banquet a players and family and coaches banquet only. We'll have an announcement about that shortly."

"It may, it may not be. At this point we haven't really figured that one out," said White when asked if this weekend would still be a recruiting weekend.

The search will now start for the next head football coach at Notre Dame. We expect current Utah head coach Urban Meyer, current Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden and a host of others will likely be speculated as top candidates for the position.

We expect to hear more about the banquet, the bowl situation and the recruiting weekend soon, and will report what we hear shortly on the front page of Irish Eyes. Top Stories