Irish defensive coordinator Al Golden transitioning back to college football

Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 11:52 AM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Fall camp resumed Monday for the Notre Dame football team, and the focus was on the Fighting Irish defense.

New defensive coordinator Al Golden is fresh off coaching in the Super Bowl with the Cincinnati Bengals. Golden has been an assistant coach in the NFL since 2016, but he has plenty of experience at the college level. He was head coach of the Miami Hurricanes from 2011-2015.

Golden says being at Notre Dame makes the transition back to college easy.

“Being at Notre Dame, the difference isn’t much, and I just think we have a group of guys that are really smart,” Golden said. “They’re football guys. You’re not trying to track them down to get to the weight room or trying to get them to go to class, I mean, these guys are on it every day. They’re goal-oriented. They’re focused on what they want to do and they’re dying for you to coach them. They’re dying to learn every day.

“You should see them listen to Al (Washington), CO (Chris O’Leary), and Mick (Mike Mickens) and everybody on defense,” he added. “These guys really want to learn to do something better. From that standpoint, they’ve challenged me to be a better coach, and I’m grateful for that.”

However, Golden is not the only one on the Irish coaching staff who has experience on the biggest stages of football. Irish linebacker Jack Kiser touched on how the coaching staff’s experience is already helping them in just the first week of fall camp.

“Having that pro experience is invaluable, and to have them in the film room every single day, how much more could you ask for?” Kiser said. “Just little things, watching film, this is what we’re looking for, situational football to the next level, that 500 level. That’s what we say all the time and just to have that every single day on a daily basis, that knowledge, you can’t put a price tag on that.”

The Irish football team remains focused on its first major task this season—going to Ohio State and picking up a big win over the Buckeyes.

“I think there’s a quote that says, ‘the problem is you think you have time,’” says James Laurinaitis, defensive grad assistant. “Like, you think you have time, and you don’t. I’ve been there. You make a mistake early in camp and you’re like ‘it’s all good, we’ll get it right.’ No, you don’t have time because you know that team in Columbus right now is grinding, and we know how talented they are and you watch them on film and you’re like ‘oh gosh, that’s a talented bunch.’ So no, we can’t let these little mistakes, ‘oh we’ll get it.’ No, we need to eliminate those.”

Notre Dame will play at Ohio State on Sept. 3. Kickoff at Ohio Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.

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