fighting irish  > Group Message Board  > ND's new coach
January 31, 2008, 07:04 PM
Notre Dame's defense will get a new look this spring.


Associated Press

Jon Tenuta
But the biggest change won't have a thing to do with the players.

Multiple sources tell Irish Illustrated that former Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta will join the Notre Dame coaching staff, replacing defensive backs coach Bill Lewis, who is expected to retire from coaching.

Notre Dame confirmed the hire late Thursday, announcing that Tenuta would take over as assistant head
coach on defense. Lewis will join the University's athletics community relations staff.

Tenuta will start his new job on Feb. 18.

Tenuta became available after Georgia Tech hired former Navy coach Paul Johnson in early December to replace Chan Gailey. Tenuta, renowned for his aggressive, blitzing style, had been rumored for defensive coordinator posts at Michigan and Washington in recent weeks.

How much influence Tenuta will have on Notre Dame's schemes is unclear but any input figures to be welcome. Georgia Tech ranked in the Top 25 nationally in rushing defense, total defense and scoring defense last season. More impressively, the Yellow Jackets led the country in sacks and ranked fourth in tackles for loss.


The timing of Tenuta's addition is unexpected with Signing Day less than a week away and because Charlie Weis said he wouldn't entertain staff changes until after Feb. 6.

"I wouldn't even think about that until after recruiting is over," Weis said on Dec. 3 during a season wrap-up press conference. "There's nothing I intend on doing until after recruiting is over. Right now ??? my main emphasis and everything I'm doing is making sure that we do a good job in recruiting."

When asked a second time about potential staff changes during that same press conference Weis was adamant that he wouldn't think about staff changes until after Signing Day.

"There's not even going to be a thought in my mind until we're done with recruiting," he said. "It's a rhetorical question because I'm not even going to think about it until we're done with recruiting."

Turns out that recruiting centered on more than just players.

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