Dec. 1, 2004
The University of Notre Dame’s football team will participate in the Dec. 28 Insight Bowl in Tempe, Ariz. – with current Irish defensive coordinator Kent Baer serving as the interim Irish coach.
That decision came tonight on the heels of the announcement yesterday that Irish head coach Tyrone Willingham would not be retained.
Notre Dame athletics director Kevin White met with a small group of senior players Tuesday to discuss the bowl situation – and then a larger group of seniors met on its own Tuesday. A full team endorsement came late this afternoon, with the understanding Baer would serve as interim coach. Other current Irish assistant coaches are expected to continue in their roles through the Insight Bowl preparation and game.
Baer is in his third season as Irish defensive coordinator. He previously spent nine years on the football staff at Utah State, one at Idaho, five at California, three at Arizona State and seven at Stanford. He was a finalist for the 2002 Frank Broyles Award that goes to the top assistant coach in the nation.
The Irish finished their regular season with a 6-5 mark and in the Insight Bowl will play a Pacific-10 Conference team to be determined this weekend.