The Irish are coming back to Notre Dame. After hiring Brian Kelly, the first Irish Catholic coach since – well, George O'Leary who held it for five days, Kelly has now gone back to his roots by hiring defensive backs coach Chuck Martin away from Grand Valley State University.
An Irish Catholic from the south side of Chicago with Notre Dame in his genes, Martin jumped at the opportunity to join Kelly at Notre Dame and get his shot at the big time.
Kelly is clearly following his own pattern of success here. He coached at GVSU where Martin is now the departed head coach and he clearly was impressed with his record. It was hard not to be. Martin's incredible 74-5 number was an amazing achievement.
The wonder is that Kelly did not hire him as defensive coordinator overall but that seems to be reserved for his old defensive coordinator at Cincinnati Bob Diaco.
Martin has a reputation as a teak tough coach, who gets the best out of his players and never shirks his responsibilities.
Given the dreadful nature of the Irish defence this season, Martin cannot get to South Bend quick enough. The Irish secondary in particular was an all purpose offender this year picked apart by rookies, journeymen and top class quarterbacks, all of whom found it easy to throw long and often.
Some are surprised that Martin was not named offensive coordinator overall. If Diaco is the choice for Kelly it might turn out to be a bad one. Cincinnati has allowed points like a leaky ship allows water in this year. Kelly knows, however, he lost many defensive players to graduation, and that Diaco will have more to work with at Notre Dame if he comes.