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Coaching carousel could pick up ND’s Martin

Dec 9, 2010, 2:27 PM EDT


It’s that time of year when head coaching jobs open up and fans bristle when they hear their favorite assistant coaches’ names thrown around. After the first year of Brian Kelly and a 7-5 record, Notre Dame fans likely never thought they’d hear one of their assistants names being singled out… yet.

But’s Tom Dienhart just mentioned Irish secondary coach and recruiting coordinator Chuck Martin as one of the top targets of Northern Illinois as they look to replace head coach Jerry Kill, who just left to take the head coaching job at Minnesota.

Dienhart’s list include Martin, Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Doeren, and Rutgers’ wide receivers coach, and former Northern Illinois wide receiver, P.J. Fleck as the leading candidates.

Considering Doeren’s pedigree and Midwestern background, he’s a likely candidate at a MAC school looking to give a top-notch coordinator a head coaching job. Fleck’s young and relatively inexperienced, but his record-setting days on the gridiron for the Huskies, as well as being a home-grown product, make him a logical fit to fill the vacancy as well.

But Martin’s name appearing after just a season as a position coach at Notre Dame goes to show you just how good of a hire he was for Kelly and the Irish. While Bob Diaco was given the reins of the defense as its coordinator, Martin’s work with the secondary has been impossible not to notice and his work on the recruiting trail has kept the Irish in the upper-echelon of programs when it comes to recruiting rankings, a perceived weakness when Kelly and his staff were originally hired.

Martin’s head coaching experience at Grand Valley State, where he went 74-7 (a whopping .914 winning percentage) and won two national championships will likely be a great sales tool when perspective employers look to fill an opening. Martin’s Chicagoland roots also play well into Northern Illinois’ search.

Part of me would be surprised if Martin said yes to the job, especially after getting a feel for his love of Notre Dame and where he’ll likely end up a few years down the line. (I think he’ll be a head coach one day soon, but at a spot better than Northern Illinois.) Still, Kelly could be looking at the first defection from his coaching staff, and a loss that’d be a real blow to a group of talented assistants.


  1. borromini - Dec 9, 2010 at 5:53 PM

    Losing Martin at this early stage in Kelly’s tenure would hurt. Let’s hope he gets passed.

    • tedlinko - Dec 10, 2010 at 12:33 PM

      To me, Chuck Martin to Northern Illinois at this point doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. Granted, I don’t know the guy at all so can’t speak to Keith’s comment about having a feel for his love for ND.

      I can just analyze it based on logic. It seems like, with the kind of record the guy compiled at GVS, if the goal was a job like Northern Illinois, that probably could have happened a while ago. Instead, the guy left to take a position coach job with the Irish.

      I have no doubt that Martin wants to be a head coach again, and if he didn’t already have an impressive head coaching resume, the NI job would be a nice resume builder. But the guy already owns the 2nd highest career winning percentage of any college football coach at any level. His head coaching bona fides are not exactly in question. Given that, if he wants a big time job eventually, what’s the better launch point? Head man at Northern Illinois, or position coach/recruiting coordinator for one of the highest profile schools in the country, which is looking to return to prominence based partly on your recruiting savvy. You tell me.

  2. 9irish - Dec 9, 2010 at 7:24 PM

    what does everyone think about Urban Meyer? I am not predicting or hoping that it will happen (actually quite optimistic), but 3 or 4 years down the road….you never know. I honestly think that things will go quite well with BK, but like I said…you never know.

  3. fishergrl78 - Dec 9, 2010 at 8:19 PM

    He’s the Brett Favre of the coaching world….I would not be happy if BK were to ever get fired in the future and they hire Meyer. He would just up and leave.

    Lou Holtz started off like BK did and had a successful career with the Irish!


    • 9irish - Dec 9, 2010 at 8:29 PM

      wasn’t trying to stir anything up with that (even though I knew it would!) and I agree. I still think he is why they canned Willingham, just kind of a prima donna, hard to pin down. Good coach though, while you have him.

      Go Irish

  4. fishergrl78 - Dec 9, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    Definitely a good coach, you should see all the comments about him on the College Game day site- and those who are referring to him as the BF of the coaching world…unbelieveable.

    I can’t wait for Dec 31st 2010….I vaguely remember the 1990 regular season match up between ND/Miami.

    Convicts V Catholics lol!

    • 9irish - Dec 9, 2010 at 8:50 PM

      definitely….talk about the team that you miss hating! welcome back!

      • papadec - Dec 10, 2010 at 1:34 AM

        Miss hating? You have to be kidding – I never stopped – never will. It was a filthy program under Jimmie & I have seen nothing to change my opinion of their culture.

  5. 9irish - Dec 10, 2010 at 3:58 AM

    agreed. Just a out of sight out of mind thing. I’ve been too busy hating USC.

  6. 1historian - Dec 10, 2010 at 10:24 AM

    Losing Martin would definitely hurt the program. In addition it might be a little premature for him – give him a few years.

    I disagree with those lumping Meyer with Brett Favre, and I think Brian Kelly is the RIGHT

  7. 1historian - Dec 10, 2010 at 10:25 AM

    Losing Martin would definitely hurt the program. In addition it might be a little premature for him – give him a few years. The fact that this is happening so soon in Kelly’s tenure is a sign that people in the know respect the beginning he has made and the foundation he is laying for the program.

    • 9irish - Dec 10, 2010 at 10:34 AM

      sorry I brought up the Urban Meyer thing, it is just kind of a head scratcher. I wouldn’t call him a Brett Favre (Farv-re-reay) either, he’s just worn out. I met him at Bowling Green (name dropping) when I worked all the schools up there, he actually was somewhat skeptical if ND could ever keep up with the standards that they adhered to….but he has been lingering around out there in the ND realm ever since. Maybe BK will go 6 years, win a few BCS titles, get burnt out, and then we’ll bring him in…. and then vice versa!

      ah…always hope

      Go Irish

      • tedlinko - Dec 10, 2010 at 12:15 PM

        Please…If BK did win a couple championships and then stepped down, pining for Urban Meyer would be about the last thing we’d need to worry about. He’d be very old news at that point.

        How ’bout you come back to reality and just focus on the excellent coach we currently have.

        Frankly, I (and a lot of folks on this board) are a little tired of the routine of having to speculate who our next coach is going to be every few years. Hoping that BK is the reason we won’t have to do that for a good long while.

        BTW, this thread is supposed to be about Chuck Martin.

      • domer77blowsgoats - Dec 10, 2010 at 4:25 PM

        You aren’t sorry, 99% of your posts always bring up Urban Meyer somehow, someway. I refer you to exhibit A…

        Now you have officially removed all doubt as to what head you are scratching re: Urban Meyer!

  8. fishergrl78 - Dec 10, 2010 at 1:49 PM

    good grief

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