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Candidates for the suddenly vacant Notre Dame job | College Football Enquirer

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  • Luke Fickell
    American football player and coach

Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss possible candidates for the Notre Dame head coaching job in the wake of Brian Kelly’s departure for LSU.

Video Transcript

DAN WETZEL: Let's start with Notre Dame. Where do they go? Luke Fickell-- I don't think he's leaving before his playoff appearance.

PAT FORDE: He ain't pulling the same Brian Kelly weasel move, no.

DAN WETZEL: Luke Fickell is an ideal person for that job. Midwest-- he's kind of blocked on going to the one he really wants, which is Ohio State, where he's the interim coach. We talked about, like, what about Michigan? Could he could do that someday?

But Harbaugh is now all set. Penn State's not going to open. Luke Fickell may stay. They're all in the Big 12. He may stay for a long time. One thing about this-- one thing that's funny is the two coaches-- one school and one coach that were patient are sitting pretty right now. Michigan didn't fire Harbaugh. And Luke Fickell didn't just jump at whatever the hell was-- you know, go coach Auburn or something like that.

PAT FORDE: Right, yeah.

DAN WETZEL: But is it Luke Fickell? Is it going to be Marcus Freeman who's going to get a shot to be, maybe, the interim coach here, the young defensive coordinator? Is it Matt Campbell, who did some moderately good work at Toledo and Iowa State? Is that the one exciting-- you know, the home run shot? Is Urban-- Urban would bail.

PAT FORDE: [LAUGHS] Yeah, he'd bail.

DAN WETZEL: Urban got sick. He got sick on Monday, and he's healthy by Wednesday.

PAT FORDE: Yeah.

DAN WETZEL: No, I don't. What's Notre Dame going to do?

PAT FORDE: Man, I mean, I think that you-- I think you wait on Fickell. If you-- again, I said this before about other jobs. We've discussed this, and Pete was saying you put yourself too far behind the eight ball. Luke Fickell's young. I mean, he could be a 20-year coaching star. If you can get him-- if you think that you can get him, you wait for Luke Fickell till after this playoff run.

I would not let the timetable of one recruiting cycle get in the way of that. And I do think, if you're Notre Dame, this is one-- you got a shot. Now you'd have to again. You'd have to do the agent back channels and all that to make sure it could happen. But if it can, I would absolutely wait on him.

You know, some people threw out some-- to me, some names that, from an academic parallel standpoint, like Pat Fitzgerald at Northwestern, David Shaw at Stanford-- both those guys are coming off horrible seasons. And there's been real declining returns at Stanford. So I'm not sure they're all that attractive right now.

Bob Stoops is a guy who's-- he's had his name come up with Notre Dame in the past. Hey, John Harbaugh's daughter's playing lacrosse there. Think he's going to leave the Ravens middle of the season? Leave the Ravens and go there?

DAN WETZEL: Hey, maybe they can do the Kliff Kingsbury bit and still, like--

[LAUGHTER]

PAT FORDE: Yeah.

DAN WETZEL: Yeah, I know. I'm not going to discuss it. I don't know. So, like-- a pep-- two things there is, like, can you see the long game and are you going to be right about it, right?

PAT FORDE: Right.

DAN WETZEL: David Shaw or Pat Fitzgerald could be phenomenal.

PAT FORDE: Mm-hmm.

DAN WETZEL: Can you deal with the fact that they're not going that well? Or do you just sit there and say, yeah, it's all right? Ohio State, when they made Luke Fickell an interim coach-- now, look, Tressel went, I think, on Memorial Day, but they didn't jump on someone.

They just made Fickell as the interim, and then they sat and waited for Urban. They got Urban. So I'm with you on the one, like-- stop being a total rush. Everything's-- it's now next, next, next. It's not even now, now, now. We're not going to wait five days to get into the playoff. Right?

PAT FORDE: Right.

DAN WETZEL: Yeah so I don't know. This is-- I-- Jack Swarbrick's a very good AD, but this is also a very tricky job. It's not easy.

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