Randy Hart was named Irish defensive line coach on Saturday, Feb. 21.

Randy Hart Named Notre Dame Defensive Line Coach

Feb. 21, 2009

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Randy Hart, defensive line coach the past 21 seasons at the University of Washington, has been named to the same post at the University of Notre Dame, Irish head football coach Charlie Weis announced Saturday.

“I’m thrilled to add someone with the resume and personality of Randy Hart to our coaching staff,” Weis said. “As I discussed last week, there were certain attributes and qualities I was looking for in this hire. First and foremost, he had to have great chemistry with Jon (Tenuta, defensive coordinator) and Corwin (Brown, associate head coach). Second, we wanted someone that was a high-energy coach that could develop our young defensive line. Lastly, I was looking for a coach that would serve as a great mentor to (defensive graduate assistant coach) Bryant Young.

“With Randy joining our program we have added a veteran coach of great character and knowledge that truly completes our coaching staff. I welcome Randy and Linda along with their sons to the Notre Dame family and look forward to introducing him to our team soon.”

A 39-year coaching veteran, Hart has coached at five other schools in his career and returns to the Midwest where he coached for 17 of his first 18 years. Prior to Washington (1988-2008), Hart coached at Ohio State (1970-71, 1982-87), Purdue, (1977-81), Iowa State (1973-76) and Tampa (1972).

“I’m excited to come to Notre Dame and be part of such a storied and tradition-rich university,” said Hart. “I look forward to working with Coach Weis, the entire football staff, and our team of young men to perpetuate a great defense, a great team, and winning football games.”

Hart has been part of 22 bowl teams in his coaching career, including six Rose Bowls. At Washington he helped guide the Huskies to 12 bowl appearances, including three-straight Rose Bowl games. His 1991 defensive unit allowed only 101 points and 1,191 rushing yards in 11 regular season games en route to winning the school’s first national championship. That unit still holds six Washington defensive team records.

Three times during Hart’s tenure, Washington allowed fewer than 100 rushing yards per game, including 1990 and 1991 when the Huskies permitted 66.8 yards and 67.1 yards rushing, respectively. Prior to Hart’s arrival, Washington’s football team had allowed fewer than 100 rushing yards per game in a season only four times in the 51-year history of the program.

Four of the eight-best single-season defensive rushing averages in school history occurred under Hart’s watch, and six times the Huskies allowed 120.2 rushing yards or less in a season. The 1990 defense owns the school record for fewest rushing yards allowed in an 11-game season (735 yards), while the 2002 unit permitted 1,270 rushing yards to set the standard for a 13-game schedule.

With the Huskies, Hart coached 14 first-team all-Pacific-10 players and 11 of his players were selected in NFL drafts. Hart developed four All-Americans, three winners of the Morris Trophy (awarded to the Pac-10’s top offensive or defensive lineman) and two players who were named Pac-10 Player of the Year.

Hart’s prized pupil was Steve Emtman, the 1991 recipient of the Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy. Emtman was a first-team All-American, two-time winner of the Morris Trophy and the first overall selection in the 1992 NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts. In 2007, Emtman was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

As a standout defensive tackle for Hart, Emtman became the most decorated defensive player in Husky history. He anchored a defense in 1991 that allowed just 67.1 rushing yards and 9.2 points per game. Emtman finished fourth in Heisman Trophy balloting that year after registering 62 tackles including 20.5 tackles for loss.

D’Marco Farr also was a member of the 1991 national championship team and became the top defensive player in the Pac-10 under Hart’s guidance in 1992 and 1993. He was the recipient of the Morris Trophy in 1993 when he totaled 66 tackles and 19 tackles for loss.

Hart produced the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year in 1996 when Jason Chorak paced the conference with a school-record 14.5 sacks and 22 tackles for loss. He was named first-team All-America that season and followed that by being placed on the All-America second team in 1997. Chorak finished his career as the school’s all-time leader with 61.5 tackles for loss and ranked third with 25.5 career sacks.

Several other players for Hart enjoyed NFL careers, including Dennis Brown, David Richie, Tyrone Rodgers, Jamal Fountain, Jabari Issa, Mac Tuiaea, Larry Tripplett and Terry “Tank” Johnson. As the Huskies’ defensive coordinator from 1995-98, Hart also helped develop future second-round draft picks Lawyer Milloy and Tony Parrish.

Prior to his tenure at Washington, Hart was the defensive line coach at Ohio State, his alma mater, from 1982-87. His return to Columbus marked his second coaching stint with the Buckeyes and the third time he coached under Earle Bruce. Hart went to five bowl games in his six years at Ohio State, including the 1983 Fiesta Bowl, 1985 Rose Bowl and 1987 Cotton Bowl.

Hart coached the defensive line at Purdue from 1977-81 under head coach Jim Young and broke into the coaching industry with his first full-time job at the University of Tampa in 1972 under Bruce. Hart served as the offensive line coach in his only season at Tampa before following Bruce to Iowa State where he switched sides and started his defensive line coaching career with the Cyclones from 1973-76. He worked as a graduate assistant, focusing on the offensive line, with Ohio State in 1970-71.

Hart was a three-time letterwinner for the Ohio State football team as a 6-2, 234-pound offensive guard. He was a member of the 1969 Rose Bowl championship team that defeated USC 27-16, to cap a perfect 10-0 season en route to being named national champion. Hart was also a member of the Ohio State wrestling team for the 1966 season.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Hart was born March 9, 1948, and graduated from South High School in Willoughby, Ohio. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Ohio State in 1970 and a master’s degree in education in 1974, also from Ohio State. Hart and his wife Linda have two sons, Jay and John. John was a three-time letterwinner on the Washington football team and graduated in 2002.

Hart replaces Jappy Oliver who resigned in January to pursue other opportunities.

THE HART FILEYear       School    Assignment1970-71    Ohio State   Graduate Assistant1972       Tampa    Offensive Line1973-76    Iowa State   Defensive Line1977-80    Purdue   Defensive Line1981       Purdue   Defensive Line/Administrative Asst. to Head Coach1982-87    Ohio State   Defensive Line1988-94    Washington   Defensive Line1995-98    Washington   Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line1999-2008  Washington   Defensive Line2009       Notre Dame   Defensive Line