Teams & Conferences

Notre Dame Fires Defensive Coordinator Brian VanGorder. Now What?

Notre Dame defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder has been relieved of his duties. Now what?

Contact @PeteFiutak

Heads were going to roll at some point.

The head coach can’t fire himself, so along with putting every player on notice and saying every position was up for grabs, no matter what – except for, apparently, the long snapper – Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly sacked defensive Brian VanGorder according to

Call it a desperate move, or call it something to shake things up with Syracuse and NC State coming up next away from South Bend – and Stanford and Miami to follow – but Notre Dame is 103rd in the nation in total defense, a disaster against the pass, and allowing over 33 points per game.

Nevermind all the issues in the secondary on and off the field, the absence of Jaylon Smith, and what was supposed to be a bit of a rebuilding year overall – you can’t go 1-3 in Notre Dame.

And you can’t get pantsed by Duke’s mediocre – at least this year – offense without there being problems.

VanGorder has been the defensive coordinator for the last two years, coming over from the New York Jets after serving as the Auburn defensive coordinator in 2012, the Georgia DC for four years under Mark Richt, and as an assistant in several different NFL gigs.

And now it’ll be up to Greg Hudson, the former Purdue defensive coordinator who also worked in the same gig for Minnesota and East Carolina before going to Florida State and the linebacker coach for three seasons.

Hudson is all about attacking and getting his linebackers into the backfield, and that might be partly why the change comes now.

Notre Dame has just one sack this season and an okay, not great, 17 tackles for loss.