Notre Dame’s staff shakeup continues as Sports Illustrated‘s Pete Thamel reported Tuesday night that Mike Denbrock will leave the staff to take a similar post at Cincinnati.
Notre Dame has already hired Mike Elko to run its defense and watched Mike Sanford take the head coaching job at Western Kentucky. Denbrock’s departure cements a complete sea change at the leadership level on both sides of the ball coming off of this season’s 4-8 campaign.
Of course, how much an offensive coordinator truly coordinates the offense is up to interpretation under head coach Brian Kelly.
Still, Denbrock is a longtime Kelly lieutenant with an absence that will be felt moving forward. The pair’s relationship dates back 30 years, when both were graduate assistants at Grand Valley State in 1987. Denbrock later served as Grand Valley State’s offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator — not simultaneously, unfortunately — under head coach Kelly and, with a few stops in between, joined Kelly’s Notre Dame staff upon his hiring in 2010. Denbrock started as tight ends coach and worked his way up to offensive coordinator in 2014 before transitioning to associate head coach and wide receivers coach in 2015-16.
At Cincinnati, Denbrock will take over an offense that ranked 101st nationally in yards per play and 121st in scoring.