NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly has filled two key leadership positions on his coaching staff as Bob Diaco has been hired as defensive coordinator and Charley Molnar has been hired as offensive coordinator, Kelly announced Thursday.
Both Diaco and Molnar were on Kelly's coaching staff at Cincinnati in 2009. Diaco was the Bearcats' defensive coordinator and coached the inside linebackers while Molnar served as passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach.
With the Irish, Diaco will also work with the inside linebackers and Molnar will coach the quarterbacks.
"I'm thrilled to officially announce that Bob Diaco and Charley Molnar have joined me at Notre Dame and will serve in two leadership positions on my coaching staff," Kelly said. "I expect a lot from my coordinators. Because they will direct the position coaches and our players, the coordinators need to be effective leaders, clear communicators and self-starters. Bob and Charley possess these traits and I look forward to having them help me lead the Irish."
Diaco has 14 years of coaching experience at schools in the Big Ten, Atlantic Coast, BIG EAST and Mid-American Conferences. A former all-Big Ten linebacker at Iowa under legendary head coach Hayden Fry, Diaco spent the 2009 season as the defensive coordinator at Cincinnati after coaching linebackers for three years at Virginia under Al Groh, one of the top defensive coaches in the country.
In his first season with the Bearcats, Diaco's defense ranked in the top 10 nationally in sacks and tackles for loss and Cincinnati's rushing defense allowed only 3.6 yards per carry.
"Bob Diaco is a bright and energetic coach who is truly one of the rising stars in this profession and I'm glad he'll serve as my defensive coordinator," Kelly said. "He willingly entered a difficult situation last year when I asked him to join me at Cincinnati and guide a defense that had to replace 10 starters. Bob implemented an entirely new defense and was a major factor in us winning every game during the regular season.
"He has played for and learned under some fine defensive coaches and will be a great teacher for our guys. Bob will challenge our players and assistants in a positive way on a daily basis and I look forward to the impact he¹ll have on our defense."
Molnar has spent his entire 26-year coaching career on the offensive side of the ball at the collegiate level, including 10 seasons as an offensive coordinator and 16 years coaching quarterbacks. He has coached the last four seasons beside Kelly at Cincinnati and Central Michigan and helped develop record-breaking quarterbacks and wide receivers at both schools.
Molnar has won 44 games since 2006 and he's been part of an offensive staff that has averaged 272.6 passing yards and 32.4 points per game in that span. He has also helped produce players who received All-America, freshman All-America and all-conference honors for the Bearcats and Chippewas.
"I'm excited to have Charley Molnar as my offensive coordinator because he possesses familiarity with my offensive system as well as knowledge from having served as an offensive coordinator earlier in his career," Kelly said.
"Charley and I have coached together the last four years and I have complete confidence in him to lead the offensive staff and players. I have seen how he has developed both quarterbacks and wide receivers and tailored a passing attack around the strengths of an offense. Charley has spent much of his career coaching quarterbacks and that experience combined with the knowledge he gained as my passing game coordinator the last three years will only benefit the Irish."
The final three assistant coaching positions at Notre Dame will be announced at a later date.