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Irish decide to attend Insight Bowl

Justin Schuver | Thursday, December 2, 2004

Notre Dame players agreed Wednesday to continue with the team’s commitment to participate in the Insight Bowl in Tempe, Ariz., on Dec. 28, despite the firing of head coach Tyrone Willingham Tuesday.Kent Baer, Willingham’s defensive coordinator, will take over interim head coaching duties for the game at Bank One Ballpark.White met with a group of seniors early Tuesday to discuss the bowl situation, and then a smaller group of seniors met Tuesday night to discuss the matter as well. A full endorsement didn’t come until Wednesday afternoon, when the team announced it would participate in the Insight Bowl with the understanding that Baer would be the coach.”I just look it as an opportunity to go out there and perform. I think if you’re a competitor and you really love this game, that’s what you want to do,” Irish linebacker Brandon Hoyte said. Baer is in his third season as Irish defensive coordinator, after previously spending nine years on the football staff at Utah State, one at Idaho, five at California, three at Arizona State and seven at Stanford.”[Baer] was referred by the coaches, and he has said to us, he would be excited to take that challenge and coach us in the bowl game,” Irish offensive lineman Ryan Harris said.The rest of the coaching staff is expected to continue in its roles through the preparation for the bowl game and the game itself.Notre Dame will face one of four Pac-10 teams – either Arizona State, Oregon State or UCLA. The official announcement will be made by the Insight Bowl on Dec. 5.