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Tony Alford leaves Notre Dame for Ohio State

| Monday, February 9, 2015

The staff shuffle continues.

Former Irish recruiting coordinator and running backs coach Tony Alford is leaving Notre Dame for Ohio State, according to his Twitter account.

Irish Illustrated first reported Saturday morning that Alford, who spent six seasons in South Bend, will become the new running backs coach and assistant head coach with the Buckeyes.

Former Irish defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks recently left the staff for a position at Oklahoma.

Alford was a holdover from the staff of former Irish head coach Charlie Weis, for whom Alford served as the running backs coach in 2009. For his first two seasons under Irish head coach Brian Kelly, Alford coached Notre Dame’s receivers. In 2012 and 2013, Alford added the title of recruiting coordinator and tutored the running backs and slot wide receivers. Alford mentored the running backs in 2014.

Alford earned praise for his recruiting work, especially in Florida, where he helped land class of 2015 signees and Sunshine State natives Te’von Coney and Dexter Williams, among others.

Alford will replace former Ohio State running backs coach and assistant head coach for offense Stan Drayton, who reached an agreement to become the running backs coach for the Chicago Bears on Thursday.

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer served as the wide receivers coach at Colorado State in 1990, when Alford was a senior running back for the Rams.

In an interview with Irish Illustrated, Alford said his move “is a leap of faith, one I feel I need to make for my professional development.”

“This isn’t an indictment on Notre Dame, [Director of Athletics] Jack Swarbrick, [University President] Father John [Jenkins], Brian Kelly, nothing,” Alford said to Irish Illustrated. “It’s something I feel I needed to do for professional growth. And I’m not saying Notre Dame was not helping me with that.

“One guy that I have a ridiculous amount of respect for is Jack Swarbrick. It’s off the charts what I think of him, and I value him, and I felt like he valued me. Brian, too. Hopefully that will continue.”

Notre Dame is scheduled to begin spring practice March 2.

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About Mike Monaco

Senior Sports Writer Mike Monaco is a senior majoring in Film, Television and Theatre with a minor in Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy as well as Business Economics. The O’Neill Hall native hails from the Boston area and is an aspiring play-by-play broadcaster.

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