Notre Dame’s Mike Denbrock promoted to offensive coordinator
BY LAMOND POPE Sun-Times Media January 30, 2014 10:54PM
Notre Dame running back George Atkinson III heads to the end zone with a touchdown during an NCAA college football game against Navy, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)
Updated: January 30, 2014 11:02PM
Notre Dame officially filled a void in its coaching staff Thursday when Mike Denbrock was promoted to offensive coordinator.
He’ll also continue to be the team’s outside wide receivers coach.
Denbrock served as the interim offensive coordinator through the Pinstripe Bowl after Chuck Martin left to become the coach at Miami (Ohio) in early December. Coach Brian Kelly called the plays for that game. The Irish defeated Rutgers 29-16. Kelly will also call plays in 2014. Martin had that role in the 2013 regular season.
Kelly and Denbrock will meet with reporters today. New quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur will have an introductory news conference on Wednesday. LaFleur joined the staff last week.
Denbrock held the position of outside wide receivers coach/passing game coordinator at Notre Dame the past two seasons.
Prior to the Pinstripe Bowl, he told reporters he didn’t see his time as the interim offensive coordinator as an audition.
“We have concentrated on just trying to prepare these guys the best we can,” he said at the time. “I’ve tried to step into a pair of pretty big shoes that had done a nice job with the offense and tried to fill that void as much as I can so that the kids can feel a sense of normalcy about the way we’re doing things and what we’re doing so they can go out and do their best.”
That strategy worked. The Irish had 494 yards of offense in the bowl game, their third-best total of the 2013 season. Notre Dame finished with 175 rushing yards against the fourth-best rushing defense in the country.
Denbrock has been part of the Irish’s coaching staff since 2010. He coached the tight ends for two seasons before switching roles. Denbrock had a previous stint with the Irish, working with the offensive tackles and tight ends from 2002-04.
And like recently hired defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, Denbrock spent time with Kelly at Grand Valley State. Denbrock was on Kelly’s staff from 1992-98 (Kelly and Denbrock were also graduate assistants together at Grand Valley State in 1987).