Nearly a month after a hole was created on his Notre Dame coaching staff, Brian Kelly has officially filled that opening.
Following up on reports that first surfaced in late January, Notre Dame confirmed Tuesday that Kelly has hired Lance Taylor as the Fighting Irish’s new running backs coach. Taylor, who spent the past two seasons as the wide receivers coach for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, replaces Autry Denson, who left last month to become the head coach at Charleston Southern.
“I’ve been blessed to work at some incredible places in my career, but Notre Dame is truly special,” said Taylor in a statement. “I’m honored and humbled to represent this incredible University as its running backs coach. I’d like to thank both Brian Kelly and Jack Swarbrick for this opportunity. I’m excited to get on campus, meet our players and get to work.”
“I was primarily looking for two things,” Kelly said in his statement. “The candidate had to have the right skill set. He needs to be a great teacher and communicator. He also needs to fit Notre Dame, culturally, and Lance, most certainly, possesses all of those qualities. He recruited at an extremely high level during his time at Stanford, and he worked with the very best in the NFL. His ability to bring both of those experiences together makes him a perfect fit on our staff.”
Prior to his two-year NFL stint, Taylor spent three years as the running backs coach at Stanford. Taylor initially walked on at Alabama and played running back for the Crimson Tide from 1999-2003.