While the news has been widely acknowledged, former Notre Dame All-American Bryant Young has officially joined the San Jose State staff as the defensive line coach.
Young, a four-time Pro Bowler, who spent all 13 of his seasons as a San Francisco 49er, moves back into the home where he lived most of his NFL career.
Jon Wilner of the Mercury News had a nice article pointing out the major selling points of joining the Spartans football program:
Young had the option of
staying in South Bend as a graduate assistant or joining the Akron
staff under Rob Ianello, who had been Notre Dame’s chief recruiter.
(Ianello interviewed for the San Jose State vacancy.)
Then he got a call from an old friend, San Jose State athletic director Tom Bowen.
and Bowen go back a long way. They met when Young was in college, and
they worked together at the 49ers. Bowen was director of community
affairs, and Young was heavily involved in the community.
While the allure of coaching at his alma mater was enticing, and a guy like Young probably doesn’t have the same financial concerns as most college coaches just starting their career, there’s no faulting Young for going back home to coach and no blaming Brian Kelly for not doing more to keep Young with the program. Offering Young the chance to return as a Graduate Assistant was the right thing to do for Kelly, and Young turning down that offer was the right thing to do for his career.
One of Kelly’s chief concerns is the implementation of his defense, and Mike Elston’s work along the defensive line and with the special teams, not to mention his familiarity with Kelly made the decision an easy one.