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Irish adding Buffalo’s Ernest Jones to football staff

Feb 10, 2012, 7:20 PM EDT

Ernest Jones

Brian Kelly spent the morning addressing the staff changes that await the next edition of the Fighting Irish football team. But it appears there’s one more move on the horizon, though it hasn’t been made official by Notre Dame. As reported by the Buffalo News’ Rodney McKissic, associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Ernest Jones is leaving Jeff Quinn‘s Buffalo coaching staff for a yet to be named position at Notre Dame.

The move will reunite Kelly with Jones, who worked under the Irish head coach at both Cincinnati and Central Michigan. With the Irish on-the-field staff filled, Jones is taking a position in the football office, where he’ll likely help the Irish in their recruiting efforts, until a staff spot opens up. Jones made a similar move to Cincinnati, joining Kelly after a stint as the head coach of Alcorn State, where he was fired one year into his three-year contract.

Even if he’s unable to work on the field, Jones brings a wealth of knowledge to the coaching staff and potentially a trump card in recruiting. As Quinn’s associate head coach, Jones headed up the Bulls’ recruiting efforts, putting together an unprecedented class as the Bulls signed 19 commitments under Jones’ guidance, having a recruiting staff all but set in December, when in years past the Bulls scrambled until well after Signing Day.

Jones declined to comment when reached by the Buffalo News, but the deal is reportedly signed and his home is on the market in the Buffalo area. It’s also rumored that the move wasn’t all that well received by Quinn, who’s losing his recruiting coordinator, cornerbacks coach and associate head coach to a non-coaching position with the Irish — the second defection to the Bulls staff this offseason.

If you’re looking to read between the lines here, the current offseason might have taught Kelly a thing or two about the desirability of coaches at high-profile schools like Notre Dame. Losing Ed Warinner and Tim Hinton, and having a brief scare with Tony Alford’s interview with the Green Bay Packers, Kelly is creating a contingency plan for the next assistant out the door, with coaches like Bob Diaco, Chuck Martin, Mike Elston and Kerry Cooks on the radar at major programs everywhere.




  1. borromini - Feb 10, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    I was stoked about his bio ’til I read about the firing at Alcorn St. after just one year of a three year contract. That seems very odd even by today’s quick trigger standards with firings/hirings.

  2. jimbasil - Feb 10, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    As with borromini, I’d have to say, the firing of Jones at Alcorn St sticks out there pretty large, especially in what appears a light coaching resume.

  3. Keith Arnold - Feb 10, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    From the sounds of it, Jones got a raw deal at Alcorn St, where there was a legal dispute after his firing. That said, from the people I’ve talked to in Buffalo, this is a big hire by ND and a guy that’ll be a huge piece of the puzzle, sooner than later.

    • papadec - Feb 11, 2012 at 12:03 AM

      Thanks for the clarification, Keith.

    • dickasman - Feb 11, 2012 at 4:02 PM


      Do you know anything about the guy? Is he a good person? No O’leary, Haywood, Corwin Brown garbage?

      Hell, what da hell is Ty Willingham up to these days? I’d pay him a million just to hang around the campus with recruiting here and there. I’d love to have that guy around ND(not coaching but in any other capacity).

      • idratherbeinsouthbend - Feb 12, 2012 at 12:22 PM

        How do you get 9 thumbs down for this comment? Ty Willingham is probably one of the highest integrity guys to ever step on the ND campus. He didn’t have success as a head coach, but even when he led Washington through three terrible seasons, he was commended by the boosters and the administration for cleaining up the program.

      • txbeej - Feb 12, 2012 at 1:54 PM

        You get 9 thumbs down when you try to troll the entire forum. There would no doubt be many more if this article wasn’t so old that people have stopped checking out the comments.

      • papadec - Feb 12, 2012 at 2:51 PM

        Golf caddie?

      • dickasman - Feb 13, 2012 at 3:39 PM

        dearest txblowjob,

        if we are troll, what are you? what makes you soooo much better than any one of us? Including myself? Do you make more money than me? Are you taller than me? Are you better looking than me? Do you have a bigger nostril than me? Are you a complete ignorant moron?

        What is this troll you speak of? I get it. We agree to disagree. I am the minority here but I am no less “troll” than you because I speak and write different.

        txblowjob, You are the Epitomy of KKK.

      • dickasman - Feb 13, 2012 at 3:42 PM


        You remind me of this priest that’s in denial that there are ZERO child abusing going on in the churches.

        Do me a favor, grow up and WIDEN your narrow mind instead of just your belly. Please. Thank you.

  4. milankraljevic - Feb 11, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    Jones got hosed by the athletic director at Alcorn State.

    He’s a good coach and excellent recruiter, who’s skills in coaching both DB’s and RB’s will complement the current staff..

    • jimbasil - Feb 11, 2012 at 9:11 AM

      Welcome aboard Mr. Jones.

      Interesting article. Thanks

      • milankraljevic - Feb 13, 2012 at 1:45 AM

        And, lets face it, Alford and Diaco are going to be hot commodities next year once we demolish Oklahoma, Michigan and South Cal. This allows us to promote from within comfortably in either situation.

  5. dickasman - Feb 11, 2012 at 2:28 AM

    Good hire. Irish recruiting just got 500pct better. We need any qualified minority help we can get. I hope this guys a decent human being. Smart move by Kelly.

  6. 88irish - Feb 11, 2012 at 6:27 AM

    Associate head coach to office recruiting coordinator?

    My bet is Alford is gone. His reply yesterday sounded like Hinton not too long ago.

    Still seems like a great pickup for ND.

    • milankraljevic - Feb 13, 2012 at 1:52 AM

      Lets face it Alford and Diaco are going to be hot commodities next year, particularly once we demolish Michigan, Oklahoma and SoCal. This gives us the flexibility to promote within…

      • dickasman - Feb 13, 2012 at 3:54 PM

        Hey Peckers just hired Alex van pelt so I guess Alford ain’t going anywhere this year. Remember that name? Holy crap how I miss those days when irish routinely horsepounded Pitt teams, year in and year out.

  7. dickasman - Feb 11, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    Yeah, I certainly hope these guys don’t start a musical chair coaching trend at ND. I don’t understand why ND doesn’t try to keep more of the former players around the program. I’m talking about as graduate assistant, athletic dept., etc…I understand that they may get a great job offer upon graduation but I am sure alot of them would stick around.

    Hell, pay them the $60 – $80K/year to stick around and do some paperwork, help with coaching and recruiting. Who better than to sell the program than the recent graduates?

    Oh wait, I forgot ND’s in South Bend, Dang it!

    • papadec - Feb 11, 2012 at 5:01 PM

      Awwwww Dick – you make a really good point, then ruin your whole post by dumping on good ol’ SB. It’s only about an hour, or so, to Chicago. What about Penn State, Wash State, Oregon, and many others? They aren’t close to anything.

      • dickasman - Feb 13, 2012 at 3:58 PM

        penn state has huge vibrant campus. Wash state threw pile of money. Oregon has nike and great skiing. Good enough for Arik Armstead, good enough for me.

        Papa, im not trying to be a dik by putting sb down. I am not trying to be negative either so please don’t put words in my mouth. I am just being honest in my opinion. I’ve been to that town many times, many games. There is something that is “lacking” in many respects. It is what it is. WO ND football, I never would step afoot in that town. Due to the love of my ND Football, I thought about opening up a restaurant there even. Too many people like txBJ there. Wouldn’t work with my concept.

  8. jonathanfesler - Feb 11, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    I have to say I was born in South Bend and lived there until we moved to Michigan, there’s nothing pretty about South Bend and Chicago, “please”? I drive truck and Chicago is ugly to the bone! I’ve been by Penn St and its beautiful over there! Notre Dame is about all a place like South Bend has! I love ND and all it stands for but South Bend isn’t nothing to jump and down about!!!

    • dickasman - Feb 13, 2012 at 4:04 PM


      I disagree with ya but I can see why you’d say that. I am in Chicago now. Have been for long time. Its the greatest city in summer. Worst city in winter. There is alot to do here. Great culture, great restaurants. Being past my prime now(geezerville by Chicago standards), I prefer to have space, less traffic, less crime, less political crooks, less taxes, etc…

      Having said all that, it truly is a great city. Its not great city for me anymore but I could never say otherwise.

  9. jonathanfesler - Feb 11, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    I’ve also lived in Oregon and drove truck all over the Pac Northwest and believe me Eugene and all around there is more there than no where! I understand why Chip Kelly’s not going anywhere! It’s beautiful there!!!

    • papadec - Feb 11, 2012 at 11:52 PM

      jon – I think we were talking more about places to do stuff – like major league teams & nightlife. I have been living in the Seattle area since 1976. I wouldn’t put Eugene, or even Portland, in the beautiful scenic category, like Seattle or Vancouver, BC.

  10. ct111 - Feb 11, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    Oregon cheerleaders are hot!!!! I wish I was a 5 star player, I would play there in a heartbeat.

    • idratherbeinsouthbend - Feb 12, 2012 at 12:27 PM

      I don’t know if i’d play there, but i’d take all of the recruiting trips i could :)

    • dickasman - Feb 13, 2012 at 4:15 PM

      2nd only to all time best USC! I’ve got to tip my jimmycap to USC. They sure know how to “recruit” people.

      I’d give daily foot massages to join 808raiderinparadise though.

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