Led by head coach Marcus Freeman, can the Notre Dame coaching staff lead the Fighting Irish back to a College Football Playoff berth in the 2023 college football season?
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Coaching Staff
Head Coach, Marcus Freeman
Freeman succeeded Brian Kelly as the head coach of Notre Dame in December 2021. In doing so, the former Ohio State linebacker became the 30th head coach in Fighting Irish history. During his first season at the helm in South Bend, Notre Dame defeated four ranked opponents, had two consensus All-Americans, and won the Gator Bowl to cap off a 9-4 season.
Freeman was a long-time defensive coordinator before stepping up to the Notre Dame head coaching role, the first head coaching job of his college football career.
He originally joined the Notre Dame coaching staff ahead of the 2021 college football season, helping guide safety Kyle Hamilton to a first-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft. Freeman also engineered a program record-tying 41 sacks in one season.
Freeman arrived in South Bend after a successful four-year stint in Cincinnati with the Bearcats. His ferocious defense helped Cincinnati to a Peach Bowl appearance in 2020, earning him national attention as a finalist for the Broyles Award. He’d previously been a nominee for the award honoring the best assistant coach in college football in both 2018 and 2019.
Following the conclusion of his playing career at Ohio State, Freeman spent a year bouncing between three NFL teams before returning to his alma mater as a graduate assistant in 2010. Before establishing himself as one of the top defensive coordinators in college football at Cincinnati, he was an LB coach at Kent State (2011-2012) and Purdue (2013-2016).
Offensive Coordinator, Gerad Parker
After serving as the tight ends coach on the Notre Dame coaching staff for one season, Gerad Parker was promoted to offensive coordinator ahead of the 2023 college football season following the departure of Tommy Rees to Alabama. Parker will maintain responsibility for the Fighting Irish tight end room.
The 2023 season will mark the second time that Parker has served as an offensive coordinator in a long and varied coaching career. Prior to his arrival in South Bend, he was the OC and WR coach at West Virginia for two seasons.
During his time with the Mountaineers, he engineered consecutive 1,000+ rushing-yard seasons for Leddie Brown while improving the WVU offense.
A standout high school pass catcher as a player, Parker set Lawrence County High School receiving records before playing college football for Kentucky. After beginning his coaching career at Raceland High School as a WR and DB coach from 2005-2006, he returned to the Wildcats as a graduate assistant in 2007. Parker’s full college coaching résumé can be found below.
- Kentucky (graduate assistant, 2007)
- UT-Martin (RB coach, 2008-2009; WR coach, passing game coordinator, recruiting coordinator, 2010)
- Marshall (WR coach, 2011-2012)
- Purdue (TE coach, 2013-2014; WR coach, 2015-2016; recruiting coordinator, 2013-2016; interim head coach, 2016)
- Cincinnati (RB coach, 2017)
- Duke (offense operations assistant, 2017; WR coach, 2018)
- Penn State (WR coach, passing game coordinator, 2019)
- West Virginia (OC, WR coach, 2020-2021)
- Notre Dame (TE coach 2022-2023; OC, 2023)
Defensive Coordinator, Al Golden
Al Golden replaced Freeman as the defensive coordinator for the Fighting Irish ahead of the 2022 college football season. In addition to his duties as DC, Golden also serves as linebackers coach. One of the most experienced coaches on staff, he enters his 31st season as a coach, having held multiple roles at multiple levels.
Despite his vast experience, the Notre Dame role was only the second time in his career that Golden has held the role of defensive coordinator. In 2001, he became the youngest DC in the FBS when he led the Virginia Cavaliers’ defense. It was his second stint with the ACC team, getting his first college coaching opportunity with the Cavaliers as a graduate assistant in 1994.
Highlights of his long and varied coaching career include being named the 2009 MAC Coach of the Year and receiving the 2013 Lombardi Award for Excellence in Coaching. Under his tutelage, edge rusher Isaiah Foskey set the Notre Dame program record for career sacks. Golden’s full coaching résumé — including stints in the NFL and at the high school level — can be found below.
- Red Bank Catholic High School (OC, 1993)
- Virginia (graduate assistant, 1994-1996)
- Boston College (LB coach, 1997-1999)
- Penn State (LB coach, 2000)
- Virginia (DC, 2001-2005)
- Temple (HC, 2006-2010)
- Miami (FL) (HC, 2011-2015)
- Detroit Lions (TE coach, 2016-2017; LB coach, 2018-2019)
- Cincinnati Bengals (LB coach, 2020-2021)
- Notre Dame (DC, LB coach, 2022-2023)
Special Teams Coordinator, Marty Biagi
A punter and placekicker at Marshall during his playing career, Marty Biagi has established himself as one of the best special teams coordinators in college football over the past nine years.
He rejoins the Notre Dame coaching staff for the 2023 season after originally serving as a special teams analyst for the Fighting Irish in 2016. Biagi spent 2022 with Mississippi State.
Quarterback Coach, Gino Guidugli
A standout QB at Cincinnati during his college playing career, Gino Guidugli has channeled his on-field excellence into coaching college QBs at a high level. Named to the Notre Dame coaching staff ahead of the 2023 season, he spent the past five years working with QBs at his alma mater and served as the offensive coordinator for the Bearcats in 2022.
Running Backs Coach, Deland McCullough
Deland McCullough joined the Notre Dame coaching staff in 2022 as the RBs coach. He’ll add run game coordinator responsibilities to his plate for the 2023 campaign.
McCullough has previously coached RBs at Indiana, USC, and Miami (OH) after a playing career for the RedHawks that saw him set several program records. He also coached in the NFL for three years with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Cornerbacks Coach, Mike Mickens
After joining the Notre Dame coaching staff in 2020 as cornerbacks coach, Mike Mickens adds defensive pass game coordinator responsibilities for the 2023 college football season.
Mickens was a standout DB at Cincinnati as a player and returned to his alma mater in 2011 for his first coaching role. He has also coached CBs at Idaho, Bowling Green, and Cincinnati.
Defensive Backs Coach, Chris O’Leary
After serving as the graduate assistant at Georgia Tech and safeties coach at Florida Tech, Chris O’Leary joined the Notre Dame coaching staff in 2018 as a defensive analyst. He was named the DBs and safeties coach for the Fighting Irish in 2021, earning credit for Hamilton’s All-American campaign and safety DJ Brown’s career-best year.
Offensive Line Coach, Joe Rudolph
A four-year offensive lineman at Wisconsin as a player, Joe Rudolph spent seven years coaching the highly regarded Badgers’ offensive line from 2015-2021. He joins the Notre Dame coaching staff for the 2023 season after spending last year as offensive line coach and run game coordinator for Virginia Tech. Rudolph also has NFL coaching experience.
Wide Receivers Coach, Chansi Stuckey
Chansi Stuckey joined the Notre Dame coaching staff as WRs coach ahead of the 2022 season. A former standout pass catcher at Clemson who led the ACC in receptions as a junior, he rejoined his alma mater as a graduate assistant in 2020.
Stuckey spent two seasons with the Tigers before coaching Tyquan Thornton and R.J. Sneed as Baylor’s WRs coach in 2021.
Defensive Line Coach, Al Washington
After working with a highly-regarded Ohio State linebacker group from 2019-2021, Al Washington joined the Notre Dame coaching staff as defensive line coach in 2022.
Washington got his first FBS DL coach role at his alma mater, Boston College, in 2016, returning to a program where he registered 15.5 tackles for loss and three sacks as a player between 2002 and 2005.