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Notre Dame makes the hiring of Ernest Jones official

Mar 3, 2012, 2:55 PM EDT

Ernest Jones

Though the news broke almost a month ago, Notre Dame made official the addition of former Buffalo associate head coach Ernest Jones to the football program. As expected, Jones won’t be working on the field with the Irish, but has taken the official title of director of player development and engagement.

Here’s more from the official release on what Jones will be tasked with:

Jones will be responsible for helping develop the Fighting Irish football players in three of the five core areas Kelly uses to develop complete student-athletes: intellectual development, social development and spiritual development (the coaching staff is charged with skill development and the strength and conditioning staff is responsible for physical development).

Jones will act as a liaison between the football players and coaching staff plus serve as primary contact between both the student welfare and development office and academic services for student-athletes department.

Jones is a graduate of Alcorn State and spent a season as their head coach in 2008. He worked under Kelly from 2005-07, coaching at both Cincinnati and Central Michigan. He rejoined Kelly in 2009 as the director of player services at Cincinnati, working in both academic services and community outreach.

Jones left Jeff Quinn’s Buffalo program, where he coordinated the recruiting efforts of the Bulls to rejoin Kelly. He has coached cornerbacks and running backs as a position coach under Kelly and will likely take a role on the field when a job opens in the future.

  1. herringbonesports - Mar 3, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    I don’t know about you fellas, but this right here sounds like my dream job. Working with players, coaches, administrators, and being part of the program in an important role off the field. Cool stuff.

    Probably gets a game day sideline pass too.

    I think these liason positions are vital to monitoring/improving student-athlete life in the modern university. Interested to see when and where we hear from him moving forward.

  2. nudeman - Mar 4, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    Probably all true Bone. I’d say his first project will be making sure our man Davonte is happy and comfortable at ND.

    But overall my guess is this has more to do with recruiting than anything else.
    If bringing Jones in results in 1 more top recruit coming in per year (who would otherwise have gone elsewhere) then this is a great hire.

    • joeschu - Mar 4, 2012 at 12:24 PM

      This also protects the recruiting pipeline if Alford or some other key recruiting cog has an opportunity to step up at another school (or NFL team).

  3. don74 - Mar 4, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    I am sure the 5 core development areas have been previously stated but this is the first time I’ve recognized them. I like the statement Kelly makes with them and I like the idea he puts someone in charge of the 3 off field areas. I also agree with Bone’s assesment. Good stuff.

    • nudeman - Mar 4, 2012 at 12:52 PM

      True. Very impressive and all encompassing approach to building men and maximizing football ability.

      But there’s one more they need to add: “Turnover Elimination Development”

      Then I’ll be ecstatic

      • jerseyshorendfan1 - Mar 4, 2012 at 9:21 PM

        I nominate Nude as the Director of the new T.E.D. Program. If he succeeds, we are all gonna be a little less crazy during the season. If he fails, well, we can all still rag on him on this site like every other day!

  4. bernhtp - Mar 4, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Notre Dame is showing a serious and growing commitment to its football program and other sports. The university is clearly giving Kelly et al the resources to be successful, at least within the confines of their academic and moral strictures.

    • nudeman - Mar 4, 2012 at 9:26 PM

      Just don’t go 8-5 this year
      Golson, Wood, Riddick, T’eo, Niklas, Eifert, Spond, Atkinson, TJ, Davonte,
      Tee Shep, Shumate … just too damn much talent to be screwing around at that level.

      10-2 or bust

      • bernhtp - Mar 5, 2012 at 3:12 PM

        There is a lot of talent and there has been (generally) for many years, but the combination of development and execution have lagged the recruited talent. It’s been many years since the final ranking has been better than the average recruiting ranking of its junior and senior classes.

        The schedule this year will be really difficult to post a 10-2 record given three (likely) opponents in the top ten (MI, OK and USC) along with several others that will be very good. A win over one of those three and only one loss against the others would be a huge step up relative to previous seasons. I would be happy with 9-3.

        Of course, the success depends upon a new quarterback making a big splash. Only Hendrix has any on-field experience and his amounts to less than a full game. It’s difficult to be too hopeful when you factor in these long odds.

  5. poppajohn818 - Mar 4, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Excellent choice. I wish him well. This job will be harder than you think, with all of today’s temptations.

  6. nateluvsnd - Mar 4, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Nude your the man, keep up the honest and insightful posts

    • nudeman - Mar 4, 2012 at 9:23 PM

      Hey, one of the things I saw that I liked the most is that he is from Alcorn State. That’s a very prominent African American institution, and if he can connect in that world then he’ll definitely help ND in recruiting black athletes in the South.

      Sounds like a good man.

      Welcome to ND, Mr. Jones

  7. schuey73 - Mar 5, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    This doesn’t have anything to do with Coach Jones, sorry.

    A few days ago some guys here were asking about the status of Chris Badger. Well here you go:,0,468703,full.story

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