Notre Dame running backs coach Lance Taylor to be new Louisville offensive coordinator
SOUTH BEND — Another Notre Dame assistant football coach is set to leave Marcus Freeman's staff.
Irish running backs coach and run game coordinator Lance Taylor has been named the new offensive coordinator at Louisville, joining the staff of head coach Scott Satterfield.
Taylor has been at Notre Dame since 2019, after former Irish coach Brian Kelly plucked him from the Carolina Panthers, where he was the wide receivers coach, the position he played during his collegiate career at Alabama.
His coaching claim to fame, however, comes from his three years at Stanford (2014-16), where he mentored Heisman Trophy runner-up Christian McCaffrey and also recruited in running back Bryce Love, both now in the NFL.
Taylor oversaw some strong rushing attacks during his three seasons in South Bend, beginning with Tony Jones Jr. who ran for 857 yards and six touchdowns in 2019.
Kyren Williams, who declared for the NFL Draft and opted out of the Irish's 37-35 loss to then No. 9 Oklahoma State in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, led Notre Dame on the ground the past two seasons, recording 1,125 rushing yards in 2020 and 995 yards this past season along with a combined 27 rushing touchdowns.
Notre Dame's starting running back spot in 2022 is up for grabs. Chris Tyree, an upcoming junior who Taylor recruited, and sophomore Logan Diggs will be the leading candidates to replace Williams. Diggs ran for a team-leading 29 yards on nine carries against the Cowboys, while Tyree added 18 yards on six rushes, with a 53-yard touchdown catch.
The Irish also bring in four-star Jadarian Price as part of their 2022 recruiting class. Price enrolled early and began classes this week.
Taylor became the second assistant coach to unexpectedly leave Freeman's staff in the past few days, after it appeared the first-year head coach would have continuity on his staff, following the departure of Kelly.
Defensive line coach Mike Elston, who was Notre Dame's longest-tenured assistant, departed the Irish Thursday to take the same position at Michigan, his alma mater, after previously stating he had no plans to leave South Bend. Freeman will reportedly replace Elston with Ohio State linebackers coach Al Washington.
Former special teams coordinator Brian Polian, was the only assistant coach to follow Kelly to Baton Rouge.
The Irish do not play the Cardinals in 2022, but are scheduled to play them during the 2023 season for a road game on a date to be determined. Last week Freeman filled one coaching void, hiring Chansi Stuckey from Baylor to be the Irish's new wide receiver coach.
Freeman also needs to hire a defensive coordinator, the position he was promoted from.