More Story: What sets Notre Dame OL coach Harry Hiestand apart?
Last week, we published a story on former Notre Dame offensive lineman Mike Golic Jr.'s new venture into sports radio.
But we couldn't let the conversation end without asking Golic about his former position coach in South Bend.
In his four seasons as Notre Dame's offensive line coach, Harry Hiestand has separated himself as a premier coach and recruiter. Tommy Kraemer, Liam Eichenberg and Parker Boudreaux — all consensus four-star offensive line commits in the 2016 signing class — are proof of the latter.
Though he only played under Heistand for one season at Notre Dame, Golic Jr. had plenty to say.
“I think he’s far and away the best offensive line coach in the country," Golic Jr. said. "I’ll put him up with anyone around the country. He’s so genuine. He’s the offensive lineman’s o-line coach. He has no aspirations of upward mobility. So much of coaching is wanting to get to that next step (in the profession), and he’s so focused on that day-to-day grind of, ‘All right, how can we get better today?’ He’s so dialed in.”
Golic Jr. relayed a story told to him by David Diehl, a former NFL offensive lineman who played 11 seasons with the New York Giants after learning under Heistand at the University of Illinois.
“(Diehl) said, ‘Harry was the only coach that came into my living room and said, ‘I’m going to make you the best player that you possibly can be.’ He means it with all absolute sincerity," Golic Jr. said. "He’s going to push you to your absolute limit. Guys love how passionate he is about it. I had him for one year and when I went to take my shot in the NFL the first time around, I was with the Pittsburgh Steelers my rookie year. I got cut at the end of camp there and spent the offseason working out, trying to get a shot with another team.
"I talked with coach Hiestand about it, and he helped me put together a tape to send to different offensive line coaches around the league that he had contact with. Any way that he could help, he was willing to help. I was a guy that he just inherited for one year. He didn’t recruit me or anything else. I wasn’t a guy that he went out and actively sought. He inherited me. I ended up being a starter for him that year, but he still did anything in his power to help me personally."
The same things that sold Golic Jr. in 2012, and Diehl long before that, continue to impact Notre Dame players and recruits.
"You saw the approach that he has with all of these guys day-to-day right now," Golic Jr. said. "He really and truly cares about developing guys and helping them be the best they can be. If you let me talk for 45 minutes about coach Hiestand, it wouldn’t be enough time. I owe so much to him as far as my development as a player at the end of my time at Notre Dame, and really so much after that. He’s a great guy and one I always look forward to seeing when I’m back on campus.”
Extra Audio: Which Notre Dame players outside the first round of this year's NFL Draft have the best chance to succeed?