Notre Dame Hits Major Snag In Its Search For A New Offensive Coordinator

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The Notre Dame Fighting Irish may officially be in scramble mode.

The Irish salvaged what was looking like a horrible first season under new head coach Marcus Freeman with a 6-1 end to the season including a 45-38 Gator Bowl win over South Carolina.

It appeared that the Irish would head into the 2023 season with plenty of momentum. But things changed recently when Nick Saban and Alabama came calling.

The Crimson Tide poached Notre Dame offensive coordinator Tommy Rees, who many consider one of the best young coaches in the game. In addition to success on the field, Rees is considered on the game’s top recruiters.

Freeman and the Irish quickly pivoted to searching for a new candidate. And as recently as Monday, it appeared they had their prime candidate.

It looked as if Notre Dame was going to land Utah offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig to run the show in South Bend. But that’s where things got sticky.

Notre Dame Misses Out On Offensive Coordinator Due To Contract Buyout

You see, it now looks like maybe the Irish didn’t do all of their homework. Because Ludwig’s contract included a buyout, one that ESPN’s Pete Thamel reports ended up being prohibitive for Notre Dame.

Utah offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig, who interviewed for the same position at Notre Dame, has informed the Irish that he’s staying with the Utes, sources told ESPN’s Pete Thamel on Monday night.

Sources said that Ludwig’s buyout — of at least $2 million, the exact number depending on how the buyout impact is interpreted in the contract’s rollover year — proved an obstacle in discussions with Notre Dame.

So now it’s back to the drawing board for the Fighting Irish. Ludwig, 58, represents a more veteran hire than the still in his young 30s Rees.

Freeman and ND also interviewed Kansas State offensive coordinator Collin Klein, who opted instead to remain at his Alma Mater.