In hiring defensive backs coach Todd Lyght, Brian Kelly decided to bring back to the program one of the most talented players of the Lou Holtz era. While his resume may be short as a coach, one listen to Lyght reveals a man whose DNA is football, with coaching taking root after a world-class career.
Lyght is the embodiment of what Kelly and his staff are selling. And it was clear listening to Kelly that he thinks Lyght will be an immediate connector with recruits around the country.
“You look at Todd Lyght, you look at his resume,” Kelly said. “Look, he goes into a home, he’s recruiting somebody. First of all, when you get a chance to talk to him, he’s a great person.
“Take away the football. He’s a great family man. He’s a great person. If a mom and dad are looking at Todd Lyght and say, ‘If my son can be like him, forget about the football, we’ve already won.'”
Lyght was also a quick mover, having just taken a job on Derek Mason’s Vanderbilt staff before getting the call from Kelly. The decision to leave wasn’t an easy one, but Lyght is at Notre Dame and the Irish will have a better defense because of it.
2015 — Notre Dame, Defensive Backs
2015 — Vanderbilt, Cornerbacks
2013-14 — Philadelphia Eagles, Assistant Defensive Backs
2011-12 — Oregon, Defensive Secondary Intern
2009-10 — Bishop Gorman H.S., Defensive Backs
On his inexperience as a recruiter:
“I haven’t recruited a whole lot. I did a bit of recruiting at Oregon, but I could only do it on campus in my role. I think I’ll be an excellent recruiter. I look forward to going out and talking to the different players throughout the country that want to come to the University of Notre Dame and excel both on and off the field.”
On choosing to leave Vanderbilt and come to Notre Dame:
“Really, I was set on staying at Vanderbilt. Coach (Derek) Mason is a really close friend of mine. He’s going to do excellent things at Vanderbilt. When Chad (Klunder) called me about the opportunity — you’re always told to take a look at any opportunity that comes along — but I was thinking I was going to stay at Vanderbilt because I wanted to work with Coach Mason. But the more and more I thought about the opportunity of coming back home, coaching at the University of Notre Dame, being part of an elite staff that Coach (Brian) Kelly was trying to put together and trying to compete for national championships, it was really too big of an opportunity to pass up.
“They told me that they were going to come down to Nashville and interview. They flew down on the plane, Coach (Brian) VanGorder, Coach Kelly, Jack (Swarbrick), Chad. We had a really good interview and at that point I knew that, after we got to talking about the direction of the program and what they wanted to do, how they saw my role, I knew I wanted to come back to Notre Dame.”
Lyght’s Intro Video from UND.com: