Brian Kelly has suffered a significant blow to his coaching staff.
Recruiting Coordinator and Running Backs Coach Tony Alford is leaving Notre Dame to take over as RB Coach and Assistant Head Coach at defending national champion Ohio State, Irish Illustrated first reported.
Alford was hired at Notre Dame by Charlie Weis in 2009. He was the lone coach that stuck around when Kelly took over in 2010. He was at Notre Dame for a total of six years, growing a reputation as one of the nation's very best recruiters. Alford--in charge of recruiting Florida--has brought many big name players to Notre Dame including Louis Nix, Greg Bryant and just this week 4-star running back Dexter Williams.
Alford is one of three coaches that have left Notre Dame this week although the school has to acknowledge any of their departures with Kelly refusing to talk about the status of his coaching staff during his National Signing Day press conference on Wednesday.
With Alford's departure, the Irish have now lost their two best recruiters in just a matter of days. Defensive Backs Coach Kerry Cooks announced earlier in the week that he was leaving Notre Dame for the same job at Oklahoma. It's expected that former Notre Dame All-American cornerback Todd Lyght will be hired to replace Cooks.
Lyght, 45, has limited coaching experience after playing more than a decade in the NFL for the Rams and Lions. He was a starter on Notre Dame's last national championship team in 1988 and was a consensus All-American in 1989 and 1990, becoming captain for the Irish during his senior season. He was the 5th overall pick of the Los Angeles Rams in the 1991 NFL Draft.
Irish Illustrated also reported this week that quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur is leaving Notre Dame after one season to take the same position with the Atlanta Falcons. They report that longtime Kelly assistant Jeff Quinn will take over for LaFleur as Notre Dame's QB Coach.
Quinn served on Brian Kelly's staffs at Grand Valley State, Central Michigan and Cincinnati. When Kelly left Cincy for Notre Dame, Quinn became the head coach at Buffalo. He was fired after this past season after a 21-37 record in five years.