Mike Elston has spent the past four seasons coordinating special teams at Central Michigan and Cincinnati and will guide the Irish special teams in 2010.

Brian Kelly Announces Recruiting Coordinator And Special Teams Coordinator Plus Staff Additions

March 4, 2010

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The duties of University of Notre Dame football recruiting coordinator and special teams coordinator have been assigned and two graduate assistants and two intern positions have been filled, Irish head football coach Brian Kelly announced today.

Defensive backs coach Chuck Martin has added the title of recruiting coordinator, while defensive line coach Mike Elston is the special teams coordinator. Jon Carpenter and Michael Painter have been added as defensive graduate assistants and Scott Booker and Bill Brechin are interns for the offensive coaching staff.

Martin joined the Irish coaching staff after guiding Grand Valley State to unprecedented heights as the Lakers’ head coach from 2004-09. He directed the NCAA Division II institution to a 74-7 record during his time, with three appearances in the national championship game, including titles in 2005 and 2006.

“Chuck and I have a shared philosophy on how to recruit which stems from our similar coaching background and I know he’ll be a dynamic representative of our program when addressing a group of recruits,” Kelly said.

“Chuck will do a great job coordinating our recruiting efforts because he is very persistent and very organized,” Kelly added. “These traits will help him with high school players and coaches as well as ensure our coaching staff is efficient during the evaluation process. The skills he developed as a head coach will surely help his transition into this role.”

“We didn’t have a coach with the title of recruiting coordinator at Grand Valley State, so, in essence, I was the recruiting coordinator,” said Martin. “I think that experience will benefit me in this role as I’m used to managing coaches during a recruiting cycle as well as formulating a recruiting plan.

“We’re going to be looking for the best players in the country and we’ll continue to recruit nationally. Having worked with Coach Kelly in the past, I think I know the type of players he is looking for and the ones that fit his offensive and defensive systems. I’ve used his same philosophy in recruiting in the past so that should help us moving forward. I’m excited about this opportunity and am looking forward to representing Notre Dame in this capacity.”

Elston has coached with Kelly the last six seasons and served as special teams coordinator at Central Michigan in 2006 and at Cincinnati from 2007-09. He coached the BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Year in each of his three seasons at Cincinnati as Mardy Gilyard claimed the award in 2008 and 2009 as a return specialist and punter Kevin Huber was honored in 2007. Gilyard returned four kickoffs for touchdowns from 2008-09 and Huber was a two-time first-team All-American in 2007 and 2008.

“Mike has been my special teams coordinator for the last four seasons and I have the utmost confidence in him,” Kelly said. “He pays great attention to detail and is quite organized. With Mike directing our special teams, I expect us to have a similar philosophy as our offensive and defensive units this season and that is to be well coached and aggressive.

“As I mentioned when Mike was hired, he was instrumental in our special teams success the past few years and I’m confident that will carry over here. We want to force teams to cover us on all facets of special teams and under Mike’s guidance I am looking forward to seeing our special teams in action this season.”

“I love coaching special teams because it allows me to work with all the players from the different position groups on the team and it is such a huge part of the game,” Elston said. “Through kickoff and punt returns, there are many exciting elements of special teams where big plays can occur.

“The most important part of special teams is putting the right personnel on the field. After that, the next important aspect is keeping it simple so our players can play as fast as they would on offense or defense. We’ll also choose aggressive schemes that force teams to defend us on every play. For instance, our punt team forces teams to cover us on fourth down like our offense is still on the field. I can’t wait to get started with our guys this spring.”

Carpenter and Painter join the Irish after working for Kelly at Cincinnati and both will serve as graduate assistants for the defense. Carpenter was a defensive graduate assistant at Cincinnati for two seasons in 2008 and 2009 following four seasons as a member of the Bearcats football team. He was a running back and linebacker at Cincinnati, totaling 72 tackles including two sacks, while playing a key role on special-teams coverage.

Painter served as a staff associate for three seasons at Cincinnati and in 2006 at Central Michigan where he assisted in all facets of football operations. He played football at Mount Union (Ohio) before an injury ended his playing career. Painter transferred to Bowling Green where he graduated in 2006.

Booker and Brechin will serve as interns for the offensive coaching staff. Booker spent the previous five seasons coaching defensive backs at Western Kentucky (2009) and Kent State (2005-08). He played safety at Kent State (1999-2002) and was selected to the Mid-American Conference all-academic tem in 2001.

Brechin was a graduate assistant under Martin at Grand Valley State from 2008-09 and played for Martin from 2004-07. Brechin was an all-conference player for three years with the Lakers and helped Grand Valley State to a 40-1 record during his career including two national championships.

Notre Dame’s football team begins spring practice March 26 and finishes at Notre Dame Stadium with the 81st annual Blue-Gold Spring Game presented by Home Run Inn Pizza on April 24 at 1:30 pm.