Brian Polian, Mike Elston add new titles on Notre Dame football coaching staff

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly announced Monday promotions on his coaching staff for assistants Brian Polian and Mike Elston, which included the two trading parts of their job titles.

Polian, the Irish special teams coordinator since 2017, will now hold the title of associate head coach. Elston, who has coached with Kelly at Central Michigan, Cincinnati and Notre Dame since 2004, will add the roles of recruiting coordinator and defensive run game coordinator to his job as the defensive line coach.

Elston served as Kelly’s associate head coach for the past three seasons. Polian previously took over the recruiting coordinator role from Elston soon after Polian joined Kelly’s staff in 2017. Elston was Notre Dame’s recruiting coordinator from 2015-2017.

Notre Dame hasn’t had a defensive run game coordinator previously. Running backs coach Lance Taylor holds the title of run game coordinator for the offense. Former safeties coach Terry Joseph, who took a job with Texas this offseason, was the defensive pass game coordinator for the past two seasons.

“These were two very beneficial moves as we continue to develop our staff,” Kelly said in a prepared statement with the announcement. “As special teams coordinator, Brian Polian engages with a lot of the team on a regular basis and in implementing game day decisions. He is essential in helping us understand NCAA legislation, and in building relationships within and beyond our program.

“Likewise, Mike Elston has done a tremendous job in recruiting and is a natural fit in that role. He has had success designing and organizing our recruiting efforts, and we look forward to him leading us there. Additionally, his expertise with the defensive line can assist us in our run game preparation and coordination.”

Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick applauds head coach Brian Kelly's decision to assign some new roles to assistants Brian Polian (left) and Mike Elston (right).