Jan 21, 2012, 7:06 PM EDT
Notre Dame has announced the addition of Bobby Elliott as safeties coach, finalizing the defensive side of the ball and putting into place a veteran coach that’ll replace Chuck Martin’s coaching and leadership.
Elliott will team with co-defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach Kerry Cooks to work with a secondary that’ll need to replace Robert Blanton, Gary Gray and captain Harrison Smith.
“I couldn’t be more excited about bringing Bob Elliott to Notre Dame,” head coach Brian Kelly said in a statement. “At his core, Bob is an outstanding teacher and tactician. He has had great success developing top-tier defensive backs and his experience as a defensive coordinator will complement our coaching staff. Bobby has a long-standing relationship with Bob Diaco and Kerry Cooks so the transition to our staff should be extremely smooth. I know our safeties will love playing for him.”
In quotes released by the school, Elliott talked about his relationship with his former pupils Cooks and Bob Diaco, who he’ll now work with as they lead a defense that should lead the football team, as long as the secondary can hold up.
“The great thing about Kerry and Bobby is I come in with a total understanding of the character of these two guys,” Elliott said. “They’ve grown since I knew them before. They’re level of expertise is outstanding. They’ve ascended to the top of the coaching profession in the days we have been separated. I’ve actually used both of them as resources in my career in the last few years as well. Both of them have great ideas. Both of them have grown and matured and are outstanding coaches. The base fundamental of the character of those two guys is top shelf and that’s what led me to want to be back with them again.”
With less than two weeks to go until Signing Day, Elliott was candid about his role in finalizing this year’s recruiting class, turning his focus to the 2013 class and the players he’ll be coaching.
“I’ll have a limited role in this year’s recruiting class. This year’s class is pretty much done and there’s not much I could add to it,” Elliott added. “Recruiting is about relationships and trust. At this late of date I wouldn’t be able to help in those areas too much. I’ll get started on the next class ASAP. I’ve already started on it in my mind. I’ll look to get to know our current players. I’m really interested in getting to know our guys as much as I possibly can. I want to listen to them talk about themselves. I’m really looking forward to that next week.”
After spending most of his career in the state of Iowa, as well as an incredibly successful stop at Kansas State, the opportunity to head to Notre Dame, and to work with former players he’s stayed closed with for so long, proved too big of an opportunity to pass up.
“I grew up in the Midwest around the Big Ten and Big 12. Much of my coaching background and all of my experience is generated from Midwest football and Notre Dame is legendary. We are really excited to associated with this great place,” Elliot said.
“This was an opportunity to do something for my family that I just couldn’t pass up. It was one of those opportunities that you get once in a lifetime.”