Notre Dame offensive coordinator Mike Haywood's hiring as the head coach at Miami (OH) brings the number of black coaches in the Football Bowl Subdivision to six.
Haywood will remain with the Irish for the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl today, but Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis will call the plays.
Former RedHawks coach Shane Montgomery resigned in November after a 2-10 season and a 17-31 record in four years.
Haywood said the similarities between Miami and Notre Dame made him realize the job was right for him, but that the program requires an overhaul.
"I have to go in and reevaluate from top to bottom," Haywood said. "What I think the first thing to do going into an organization is to analyze the psychological disposition of each and every kid to find out what you need to do to make them better."
Haywood also said he wants to get the team in the weight room to improve strength.
A 1986 graduate of Notre Dame, Haywood played wide receiver and defensive back under Lou Holtz. He started coaching for Minnesota as a graduate assistant in 1988 and coached at Army, Ohio and Ball State. He coached at LSU from 1995 to 2002, then at Texas in 2003 and 2004 before coming to Notre Dame. He has coached the Irish in four seasons.
Those years not only gave him experience, he said, but left him with mentors to guide him. Playing for Holtz and working for Texas coach Mack Brown, then-LSU coach Nick Saban and Weis helped shape him into the coach he is.
"I see my self as a combination of all of them," he said. "In handling issues on and off the field more like Mack Brown, probably."
Haywood interviewed for the empty Washington coaching job vacated by Tyrone Willingham as well as Syracuse's job opening after the school fired Greg Robinson, he said. Last year, he interviewed for the head coach position at Houston.
"I think that on every interview in which I've had, I've done better," he said.
He said he credits Weis for helping him land the head coaching gig.
"Coach Weis was extremely instrumental in talking to (Miami AD) Brad Bates and helping me get this job," he said.
Haywood downplayed any perceived rifts between him and Weis and explained the circumstances involving deaths in the Haywood family that forced Weis to resume play-calling duties. Haywood's cousin passed away, he said, which he and Weis had talked about. Then three weeks later, his cousin's mother also passed away.
"People don't realize all the adversity that was going on in my life and [Weis] really helped me tremendously dealing with that from a professional point of view and an emotional point of view," Haywood said.
Haywood also said Weis was underrated.
Miami will introduce Haywood on Dec. 30. Haywood said he would talk to current assistants to give them a chance to keep their jobs, but also that he had spoken to people who were interested in working with him.
He declined to discuss possible Notre Dame assistants because the Irish have one game remaining, but he said Weis gave him permission to talk to certain coaches after the game.
"I'll talk to them before I get on the plane at 11:33," he said.