Filling In the Puzzle Pieces

First off, best wishes to Bill Lewis with his double hip replacement surgery. He’s been a great coach and representative of Notre Dame (in addition to being an outstanding recruiter.) I’m sure this was a tough choice, but he will always be a part of the Notre Dame family and will soon begin his role as manager of athletic community relations.

Goodbye, Bill.

Hello, Jon.

Jon Tenuta will assume an assistant head coach position and likely either coach the secondary or the linebackers. Like Lewis, a hell of a get as a position coach.

Tenuta is known for his attacking defenses at Georgia Tech that throttled ND’s inept offense this past year (no big deal,) but notably held Notre Dame in check with Brady Quinn at the helm two years ago. In addition to successful stints as a defensive coordinator, he’s also coached the defensive line, linebackers and the secondary in his career.

Remember when Ohio State couldn’t not turn out an NFL db? That was Tenuta, a college defensive back, who helped Shawn Springs, Antoine Winfield, Ahmed Plummer and Nate Clements into the first round of the NFL. Of course Corwin Brown coached DBs in the NFL, so ND will be getting a proven winner as a DB coach no matter who takes over for Lewis.

Like Lewis, in Tenuta, Weis hired a coach that he couldn’t (figuratively) beat on the field.

In fact, Tenuta almost seems over qualified and will likely not just contribute to the defensive scheme, but help Weis pressure test his offensive scheme, which has proven vulnerable to pressure. His tough guy mentality will also help restore the nasty play Weis is looking to cultivate. Even the past two years, Notre Dame has been known to have soft players.

It’s hard to imagine Notre Dame winning while losing a coach with the experience of Lewis, but given his departure, Tenuta fits perfectly into the puzzle as a coach — the only question is whether he’ll match Lewis’s recruiting prowess.

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6 Responses to “Filling In the Puzzle Pieces”

  1. TBoneND Says:

    This is the best of all worlds. ND keeps Lewis in the athletic department (showing loyalty while he has bionic hips inserted) allowing him to recruit and advise.

    ND receives a nasty experienced defensive specialist and an addtional recruiter.

    CB was in on the search for Jon T and they have already set the stage for a nasty “D”.

    The old adage “You win Championships with Defense” is still true. [Refer to the NC game FLA (liar) vs the little O from Columbus].

  2. Marcus M. Says:

    I came here to say what tbonend said, basically. We keep Lewis around in at least SOME capacity, and get someone who has shown the ability to cultivate exactly the type of attitude we were hoping to see when Weis threw the word “nasty” out there.

    Given the reports that Brown was consulted on the hire, that bodes VERY well for the Irish D. Too many cooks can ruin the soup, and as Tenuta was a former DC himself I was concerned about that at first. It sounds like these guys know their roles and that can only mean good things for our defense.

    Welcome to the family, Jon. Sorry about those things I’ve said about you the last two years. 😉

  3. raj Says:

    I think this is a great move, but who will assume which roles? Will Corwin be DC while Tenuta becomes secondary coach/assistant coach? Or will we see Tenuta take over DC or even linebackers? Im confused because if Tenuta’s title.

  4. Daniel Says:

    As a current GT student and a livelong ND fan, I think it’s a good higher for ND, except for one thing. Tenuta doesn’t like to recruit, he is on record as saying so. It’s one of the main reason he was overlooked to replace Gailey down here. Also probably a reason why he didn’t get another DC job after leaving Tech.

  5. Pauly1903 Says:

    I cant believe writers are not making a bigger deal out of this hire. I guess out of respect for Lewis. If Tenuta and Brown can co-exist we will look back a few years from now and say this hire is what made the difference at Notre Dame

  6. TampaGator Says:

    University of Florida has co-DC’s: Charlie Strong, and Greg Mattison (familiar?)–so Notre Dame has solid precedent to follow.

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