Time is drawing closer for Team 131 to pack up and head to Culver Academy for summer ball. Notre Dame will have a couple of former coaches returning to ND this fall with different teams. Former Head Coach Bob Davie will return with the New Mexico Lobos on September 14th. Former Defensive Coordinator Brian VanGorder will return with the Bowling Green Falcons on October 5th as their Linebacker’s coach.
Bob Davie spent a fair amount of time at Notre Dame. As the Defensive Coordinator from 1994-1996 under Lou Holtz. After Coach Holtz retired in 1996, Bob Davie become the next HC of ND Football from 1997-2001. While at ND, Davie had a record of 35-25. In the loss column, three bowl games where part of that. Davie lost the Independence Bowl 27-9 against LSU in 1997. In 1998, Davie lost the Gator Bowl against Georgia Tech 35-28. In 2000, Davie turned the team around and the irish were invited to a Fiesta Bowl a BCS Bowl. The Irish fell to the oregon State 41-9.
Bob Davie, did not assume a Head Coach position for eleven years. In 2012, Davie was hired as the Head Coach of the New Mexico Lobos out of the Mountain West Conference. During his tenure at New Mexico, Davie’s record has rolled up to 33-54 with only two winning seasons in 2015 and 2016. Davie has had three season of 3-9 (2013, 2017 & 2018), and a 4-9 record in 2012 and 4-8 in 2014.
February of 2018, Bob Davie was suspended for 30 days for alleged misconduct. This is a make or break season for Bob Davie. Football attendance has been down at the University of New Mexico and UNM would like to see the team return to it’s 2015 and 2016 winning ways.
Brian VanGorder has been a journey his whole career. His college football coaching career started in 1989 as the LB coach at Grand Valley State Lakers an NCAA Division II football team. When Brian Kelly moved into the Head Coach position, VanGorder moved upto DC/LB on 1991. VanGorder left after one season under Coach Kelly and got his first chance at a Head Coach position at Wayne State. At Wayne State he went 16-17 over three seasons. in 2006 he assumed the Head Coach role at Georgia Southern where he had a record of 3-8.
In 2005, VanGorder got his first chance in the NFL as a LB coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars. VanGorder went back to college coaching in 2006. From 2007 to 2011, VanGorder was with the Atlanta Falcons for three seasons. In 2007 he was the LB coach and in 2008-2011 VanGorder was the DC. VanGorder went to Auburn for one season in 2012 as the DC. The New York Jets called on him in 2013.
Brian Kelly hired VanGorder as the DC/ILB for the 2014 season as he replaced Bob Diaco who left for UConn. In 2015 he assumed the role of DC. Things started to in the wrong direction at the end of the 2015 season and they appeared to continue into the 2016 season. Losing the last game of the 2015 regular season to Stanford and then losing the Fiesta Bowl to Ohio State.
The 2016 campaign started pretty rough for VanGorder and his defense. Losses to Texas in the season opener, Michigan State on September 17th and Duke the following week would be the end of VanGorder’s time with Notre Dame.
The defense appeared to be very confused on what to do. Every play the defense seemed to be looking for direction on what to do. Open field tackling and wrapping opponents up was a problem. Tackling high will never slow down an opponent. The Irish did not have a sack in a single game until the game against Duke which was only one by Nyles Morgan.
To sum up it all up, Bob Davie is going to come back to Notre Dame early in the season and look to make a statement against Notre Dame. The question for Davie is how will his team respond to him as a coach? The team hasn’t seen success since the 2016 season. Bob Davie would love to come out of Notre Dame with a win.
VanGorder has been a journey his entire career. Never really staying with one team too long. The question is, what will he bring against a tough ND offense? Will he be able to out coach Chip Long the Irish Offensive Coordinator? A disciplined Notre Dame offense and defense will not let Bowling Green team come out victorious.