Meet the Notre Dame offensive line coach, same as the old. Irish head coach Marcus Freeman will reportedly hire Harry Hiestand for his second stint leading Notre Dame’s offensive line.
Yahoo’s Pete Thamel first reported the expectation on Friday afternoon. The Athletic’s Matt Fortuna followed Thamel’s report within seconds with his own.
Hiestand left the Irish after the 2017 season to take over as the offensive line coach with the Chicago Bears, where he had previously coached from 2005 to 2009. He had been with Notre Dame for six seasons, producing first-round draft picks like Zack Martin (No. 16 overall in 2014), Ronnie Stanley (No. 6 in 2016), Quenton Nelson (No. 6 in 2018) and Mike McGlinchey (No. 9 in 2018), as well as recruiting and beginning the coaching of last year’s offensive line that yielded three draft picks in Liam Eichenberg (No. 42 overall), Aaron Banks (No. 48) and Robert Hainsey (No. 95).
Led by Nelson and McGlinchey, Notre Dame won the Joe Moore Award in Hiestand’s last season in South Bend, given annually to the best offensive line in college football.
Any criticism of Hiestand stemmed from his lack of passionate recruiting, but his results were so undeniably impressive that they usually served as enough of a recruiting pitch all on their own. He replaces Jeff Quinn, who may have struggled to get the Irish offensive line up to par at the start of each of the last two seasons, though both units improved impressively throughout the seasons, but never struggled on the recruiting trail.
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