Notre Dame fires defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder

ND Insider Staff
ND Insider

The hashtags, the chants and the Twitter likes all came true on Sunday when Notre Dame announced defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder had been relieved of his duties.

VanGorder is replaced by defensive analyst Greg Hudson, who has served as defensive coordinator at Purdue, East Carolina and Minnesota in his 25-year coaching career.

"This is a difficult decision," head coach Brian Kelly said in a released statement. "I have the utmost respect for Brian as both a person and football coach, but our defense simply isn't it where it should be and I believe this change is necessary for the best interest of our program and our student-athletes.

"It's never easy to make a change on your staff, but I'm confident in Greg's ability to lead our defense. As a former player at Notre Dame and an experienced defensive coordinator, he not only understands the expectations necessary to compete at the highest level, but he'll bring a fresh perspective to our sideline, practice field and meeting rooms."

Through four games this season, Notre Dame (1-3) has been crippled by a struggling defense that ranks near the bottom of most defensive categories at the FBS level. The Irish rank 96th in rushing defense (201 yards per game), 101st in scoring defense (33.5 points per game), 103rd in total defense (454 yards per game) and 111th in team pass efficiency defense (154.15). The Football Bowl Subdivision includes 128 teams.

Hudson, a 1990 Notre Dame graduate, joined Notre Dame's staff in June. His previous two jobs were as Purdue's defensive coordinator (2013-15) and Florida State's assistant head coach and linebackers coach (2010-12).

You can find more ND Insider coverage of VanGorder's firing here:

Eric Hansen analysis |Deposing VanGorder is only the start of the makeover at Notre Dame

Al Lesar column | Notre Dame Nation gets its needed sacrifice with VanGorder firing

Tyler James recruiting analysis |VanGorder firing won't affect recruits, but next hire needs to

Tyler James video |Will VanGorder's firing repair Notre Dame's season?

Notre Dame defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, left, looks at the clock as Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly stands behind him during the Notre Dame-Duke NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend. Tribune Photo/MICHAEL CATERINA