Jan. 2, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame football defensive coordinator Bob Diaco has been named assistant head coach, Chuck Martin has been named offensive coordinator, Kerry Cooks has been promoted to co-defensive coordinator and Scott Booker has been promoted from offensive intern to a full-time assistant position as part of a series of staff announcements and changes made today by Irish head coach Brian Kelly.
Diaco has been Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator and linebacker coach the past two seasons and now takes on the additional assignment as assistant head coach. Martin takes over as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, replacing Charley Molnar who was named head coach at the University of Massachusetts Dec. 8. Martin coached Notre Dame’s defensive backs in 2010 and safeties in 2011. He also was the recruiting coordinator the last two years. Cooks adds the title of co-defensive coordinator after coaching Notre Dame’s outside linebackers in 2010 and cornerbacks in 2011. Booker has been an Irish offensive intern the last two seasons.
Diaco adds the title of assistant head coach and will continue directing the Irish defense. Notre Dame’s defense allowed fewer than 21 points per game each of the last two seasons, the first time an Irish defense had accomplished that feat in consecutive seasons in 10 years.
“One of our first priorities when we arrived at Notre Dame was building a championship-caliber defense,” Kelly said. “Bob has done an outstanding job with our defense and I’m excited we are able to keep one of the best young defensive minds in college football here.”
Prior to coming to Notre Dame, Martin was head coach at Grand Valley State for six seasons, following Kelly who served as the Lakers head coach from 1991-2003. While coaching the NCAA Division II school in Allendale, Mich., Martin directed the Lakers offense, continuing the same offensive system Kelly installed.
From 2004-09, the Grand Valley State offense led by Martin averaged 35.1 points per game, 427 total yards and 208 rushing yards per game. The Lakers ranked in the top 25 nationally in total offense in five of six seasons and ranked in the top 27 in scoring offense in all but one season. Grand Valley State scored at least 30 points in 56 of 81 games and scored at least 40 points in 34 contests.
Martin produced quarterbacks that became finalists for the Harlon Hill Award, presented annually to the NCAA Division II Player of the Year, four times in six years. His starting quarterbacks combined to throw 184 TDs and only 41 interceptions (average of 31 TDs and 7 INTs per season) and had an average passer efficiency mark of 159.9 in his six years directing the offense (a 159.9 efficiency rating in 2011 would have ranked 10th in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision).
Martin’s offense produced a 1,000-yard rusher in all six seasons he was in control. Four of the top 10 single-season rushing leaders and five of the 11 best single-season passing seasons happened from 2004-09. Grand Valley State’s all-time leaders in career rushing and passing played for Martin and seven offensive players earned Associated Press first-team All-America accolades under Martin’s watch.
“Chuck is a very talented coach that will make our offense better in the future due to his knowledge of our offensive system as well as how defenses like to attack it,” Kelly said. “I wanted someone that knew the system I’m familiar with and our experience coaching together will make for an easy transition. Chuck did a great job directing the Grand Valley State offense after I left and led the program to unprecedented heights. I look forward to witnessing the impact he’ll have on our offense.”
Cooks was elevated to co-defensive coordinator after serving as Notre Dame’s cornerbacks coach in 2011 and the outside linebackers coach in 2010. This past season, Cooks helped the Irish pass defense improve 20 spots in the NCAA rankings and helped limit opponents to 202.2 passing yards in the regular season. The former all-Big Ten safety and National Football League veteran coached Wisconsin’s defensive backs for four years and Minnesota’s defensive backs for one year before coming to Notre Dame.
“Kerry is one of the rising stars in our coaching profession,” Kelly said. “He has been a great teacher to our players and I look forward to big things from him and his position group in the future.”
Booker joins the Irish coaching staff as a full-time assistant coach in 2012 and will be assigned a specific position at a later date. An offensive intern for Notre Dame the last two seasons, Booker worked closely with Alford and the other offensive coaches in film breakdowns, scouting reports, assembly of playbooks and other duties assigned by Kelly and the offensive coaching staff. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, Booker coached defensive backs for five seasons at Western Kentucky (2009) and Kent State (2005-08).
“I’m really pleased to keep Scott Booker with the Notre Dame football family,” Kelly said. “He has been on a two-year job interview and he has shown me he has all the qualities to be a great coach at the University of Notre Dame. Scott has an infectious passion for football and great knowledge of the game. I think he will be a terrific coach for our players and a dynamic recruiter for the program.”
Diaco, Martin, Cooks and Booker as well as assistant coaches Tony Alford, Mike Denbrock and Mike Elston all have received contract extensions.
“Tony, Mike and Mike are three very valuable members of our coaching staff and I’m thrilled they have agreed to contract extensions,” Kelly said. “During the past two years they have helped us create the strong foundation for future success that is now in place. I look forward to working with them as we continue to build a championship-caliber program.”
Former Notre Dame running backs coach Tim Hinton and offensive line coach Ed Warinner left the program to pursue other opportunities.