Alford Named RB Coach

The University of Notre Dame confirmed what Irish Eyes reported first Monday, Tony Alford has been hired to coach Notre Dame's running backs. Updated with quotes from Alford and Charlie Weis.

After Irish Eyes reported that Tony Alford would be the school's next running backs coach, the University of Notre Dame confirmed it with a statement later on Tuesday.

"I'm very happy to add Tony Alford to our staff," said Charlie Weis. "In talking with several sources at the college and NFL levels for suggestions the first name that came up was Tony's. He came highly recommended because of his tremendous reputation as both a running backs coach and as a recruiter and is a great addition to our program."

Alford, 40, will replace Mike Haywood, who left Notre Dame following the season to take the head coaching position at Miami (Ohio).

"Notre Dame is the epitome of college football," Alford said. "To join a place with the tradition and history of Notre Dame is very exciting and I'm grateful to Coach Weis for extending me this tremendous opportunity.

"I have several people in my life that I greatly respect and use as sounding boards for important life decisions such as changing jobs. When this position opened, I counseled with those individuals and they were as enthusiastic about this opportunity as I am. I am very flattered that Coach Weis considered me for this post and my family and I are thrilled to join the Notre Dame family."

Alford has spent the last 14 years as a running backs coach on the college level, most recently at Louisville.

"For the past 22 years, Tony has either played running back or coached running backs and the experience and knowledge gained over that time will definitely benefit our current and future ball carriers," Weis said. "We look forward to a smooth transition and welcome Tony and his family to the Notre Dame family."

Before joining the Louisville staff, Alford had two stints as the running backs coach at Iowa State. Alford's first stint at Iowa State was from 1997-2000. Over that four-year period, he helped the Cyclones improve from 103rd in the nation in rushing to 17th as they rushed for over 200 yards a game in 1999 and 2000.

He spent the 2001 season as the running backs coach at Washington before returning to Ames in 2002 as running backs and assistant head coach.

During his time at Iowa State he helped produce three 1,000-yard rushers. Darren Davis passed the 1,000-yard mark in 1997, 1998 and 1999 before Ennis Haywood gained 1,237 yards in 2000 and Stevie Hicks rushed for 1,062 yards in 2004.

Alford stresses ball security and in his eight years at Iowa State his running backs lost just 13 fumbles as runners, returners or receivers over the course of 95 games and 3,001 touches, accounting for 13,721 yards over that time. The numbers make for an average of one lost fumble per 231 touches or one every 1,056 total yards.

Despite his success, when Dan McCarney resigned as head coach in 2006, new coach Gene Chizik brought in a new staff so Alford joined Steve Kragthorpe at Louisville.

Under Alford's direction, Louisville ranked 46th in the nation in rushing last year with an average of 164.5 yards per game after ranking 65th in 2007 with an average of 146.1. Louisville's Anthony Allen set a school record with 275 rushing yards against Middle Tennessee in 2007.

Alford also has experience as a kickoff return coach.

Alford was an All-Western Athletic Conference running back and a Doak Walker Award candidate as a player at Colorado State. Before graduating in 1990, Alford set a WAC record with 310 rushing yards against Utah. Alford played briefly with the Denver Broncos in 1991 and for a season with the Birmingham Fire of the World Football League.

After his playing career ended Alford started coaching running backs at high schools in Florida and Colorado in 1993 and 1994 before joining the Mount Union College staff in 1995. After one season at Mount Union, Alford spent the 1996 campaign as Kent State's running backs coach before heading to Iowa State in 1997.

Alford and his wife Trina have three sons, Rylan, Kyler and Braydon. Top Stories