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Football: Bryant Young among new coaches brought in by Weis

Dan Murphy | Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis held a press conference last Friday to hand out some new coaching titles.

Corwin Brown, Rob Ianello, Jon Tenuta and newcomer Frank Verducci were among those that received promotions. Weis also took the opportunity to formally introduce new running backs coach Tony Alford and new graduate assistant Bryant Young.

Verducci, who was hired as an offensive line coach last month, was named the running game coordinator. Ianello and Tenuta are now the assistant head coaches of offense and defense, respectively, and Brown was promoted to associate head coach.

“We’re trying to do everything we can to get this program to where it needs to be,” Brown said. “Anything I can do to help our program get there, I’m going to do.”

Weis said he made the changes because he will take over as offensive coordinator now that Mike Haywood has moved on to the head-coaching job at Miami (Ohio).

Alford was hired to take over Haywood’s role as running backs coach. He will be a big part of trying to turn around a running game that averaged just 3.3 yards per carry in 2008.

“I think we need to sit down as a staff, evaluate what we want to do and just get work,” Alford said.

Weis said he intends to concentrate on improving the running game as the new coordinator.

“I thought the best chance for us to win this year would be to make me the offensive coordinator,” Weis said. “What that’s done, though, is it’s caused a trickle-down effect in configuration of our staff.”

The promotions also make it possible for Weis to coach from the press box while Brown runs the sidelines if they decide to explore that option.

“I can honestly tell you it’s not a no. It’s something that is still under consideration,” Weis said.

Brown will be Weis’ second in command and Tenuta will help to pick up any slack by taking over the defensive play calling responsibilities.

“Last year, game planning was a collaborative effort and that won’t change. The only thing that will be different is that Jon will call the plays on Saturday,” Brown said.

Tenuta and Brown will both have added support along the defensive line this season because of the addition of Bryant Young. Young graduated from Notre Dame in 1994 then went on to play in four NFL Pro Bowls before retiring two years ago.

Young said he spent a year traveling the country while weighing his options for the future.

“I thought about a lot of things I might want to do,” Young said. “The more I looked at different business opportunities, it didn’t fire me up like coaching did.”

Notre Dame is still without a defensive line coach, but Weis said promoting Young to that position is not very likely.