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Diaco talks UConn, philosophy and leaving Notre Dame

Dec 18, 2013, 3:55 PM EDT

Bob Diaco AP

In case you missed it, former Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco was a guest on Jim Rome’s radio show this afternoon. It was a terrific opportunity for the new head coach of the UConn football team to get a national platform, and Diaco dazzled Rome with some of the things that made him such a favorite of Irish fans.

Rome’s website will have more details, but the interview was a greatest hits for Bobby D, who talked werewolves, energy vampires, the scorpion and the frog, and a few other gems.

But Diaco also talked about his departure from Notre Dame, giving us a good look at a young coach that Brian Kelly called, “the perfect man to lead (the Connecticut) football program into the future.”

Diaco discussed why he thought it was important to return to South Bend, and addressing the defense that he’s run for the past four seasons.

“I’ve been a part of these things in every chair now,” Diaco told Rome. “And the guy that disappears in the darkness, it really kind of goes against all the messages you’ve been trying to talk about up to that point.

“I packed my office in the middle of the day, so I saw everyone and they watched me pack my office and leave the building. I wanted that. I didn’t want to slink away in the middle of the night.  I wanted to look at that team, and the defense specifically, and to look at them and tell them, that I loved them and that they gave me great pride and energy every day and that the messages about life and defending will be true no matter what. And that whatever person replaces Bob Diaco it’s going to be a better circumstance. Coach Kelly is going to improve this program and defense.”

In vintage Diaco fashion, he ended his interview with Rome by reciting a poem that he had the Irish defense memorize, “The Indispensable Man,” by Saxon White Kessinger.

Sometime when you’re feeling important;
Sometime when your ego ‘s in bloom;
Sometime when you take it for granted,
You’re the best qualified in the room:
Sometime when you feel that your going,
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow these simple instructions,
And see how they humble your soul.

Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to the wrist,
Pull it out and the hole that’s remaining,
Is a measure of how much you’ll be missed.
You can splash all you wish when you enter,
You may stir up the water galore,
But stop, and you’ll find that in no time,
It looks quite the same as before.

The moral of this quaint example,
Is to do just the best that you can,
Be proud of yourself but remember,
There’s no indispensable man.

If you’ve got a spare 12 minutes, head over to and give the interview a listen.

  1. dickasman - Dec 18, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    Adios Amigos! No mas el STINKO defenso…feliz congratulacion on becoming a republicanoso!

    • 1historian - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:29 AM

      dick, I will give you this – you do seem to seek out new ways to make an ass of yourself, and you always find them.

      I’ll give you points for consistency but alas, another thumbs down.

  2. somebadhatharry - Dec 18, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    Diaco wasn’t the greatest DC in the nation, but that el stinko defense did get us 12 wins a year ago

    • dickasman - Dec 18, 2013 at 6:35 PM

      Where did it get us this year? I don’t wanna hear about it anymore It’s a shame I’ve got to live without you anymore
      Oh, there’s a fire in my heart A pounding in my brain, it’s driving me crazy. We don’t need to talk about it anymore
      Yesterday’s just a memory, can we close the door? I just made one mistake Oh, I didn’t know what to say when you called me baby. Don’t say goodnight Say you’re gonna stay forever Oh woah, all the way

      Can you take me high enough?
      Can you fly me over yesterday?
      Can you take me high enough?
      It’s never over, yesterday’s just a memory, yesterday’s just a memory.

      Diaco might as well buy me an 8ball cuz he could not take me high enough.

      • dickasman - Dec 18, 2013 at 6:37 PM

        Girl don’t go away maaaaad, girl JUST GO AWAY. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

      • mediocrebob - Dec 18, 2013 at 10:07 PM

        You blame this season on Diaco? I thought it was Rees? No Kelly? I’m confused

  3. bernhtp - Dec 18, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    Considering the losses from last year – graduations, injuries, academic misjudgments, sick grandmothers – I think they did pretty well this year.

    Diaco will now be a constant source of entertainment with the camera in his face. He does have a lot of personality. If he excels at UConn, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him at ND again one day.

    • wisner74 - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:49 AM

      I agree with you, Bern. You’ve got to wonder whether Diaco could be head coach at ND down the line if he does succeed at UConn, and perhaps one other stop. A very impressive guy all around, I thought. I’d be surprised if Swarbrick doesn’t keep an eye on him, just like folks kept an eye on Urban Meyer (they just waited too long before they contacted him).

    • alsatiannd - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      Does a magnetic coach like Diaco at UConn hurt Notre Dame recruiting in NYC/New England? What does Diacco at UConn do to BC recruiting?

      • bernhtp - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:14 PM

        Nah, Diaco will be fighting for 2-star RKGs with the occasional 3-star at UConn. Diaco will have little shot at those offered by ND, and he will have nothing negative to say other than “you will start earlier and play more at UConn.”

        He will need to lift the program tremendously for UConn to be a viable contender for ND-offered recruits. He will likely be on the way to a better program by the time that happens.

      • 1historian - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:14 PM

        IMO it’s not a big deal. UConn is UConn, Notre Dame is NOTRE DAME. When the HC of UConn comes calling to a a High School it’s not really a big deal, when the HC from Notre Dame comes calling EVERYBODY KNOWS and it’s probably a lead story on local news that night.

        Snobbish, elitist? Yes.

        True? Yes.

  4. somebadhatharry - Dec 19, 2013 at 1:02 AM

    Dick, just when I thought you couldn’t get any dumber, you go and say something like that….and totally redeem yourself!!!!

  5. danirish - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:06 AM


    Just kidding. Good luck Coach, thanks for making ND’s defense respectable again. While you had some stumblings (Navy, remember that one?) you coached with class and brought some great talent.


  6. 60sdomer - Dec 19, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    We were all told the same thing in boot camp nearly 50 years ago, except the TI wasn’t nearly as poetic as Diaco, and it was a finger in the water instead of the whole hand. And I’ll say the same thing I told my instructor then, true, the hole fills in but the water level drops when you pull out your finger or your hand. He told us there had to be a smart ass in every crowd, as I did 30 pushups. All these years later, I still think each of us is special in our own way.

  7. 1historian - Dec 19, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Brings up a bootcamp memory of mine. We had done something terrible and at 3 in the morning a Chief came in and woke us all up and told us to give him 20. We all turned to and when the chief came by me (I was never any good at pushups) he said “son you look like you’re f…ing a chicken!!

    Good memory – thanks for awakening it.

  8. idratherbeinsouthbend - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    If you want some pure entertainment, watch Diaco’s introduction press conference….GREAT STUFF.

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