With Brian Kelly expected to be LSU’s next head coach, Notre Dame is in need of a head coach. They need to make a big splash and the right man for the job would be Mario Cristobal.
Kelly’s expected departure at South Bend came as a bit of a surprise because of the Fighting Irish’s success. Kelly, who was Notre Dame’s head coach since 2010, saw tremendous amounts of success within the past six seasons. The Fighting Irish finished the regular season with an 11-1 record and an outside shot at the College Football Playoff in 2021.
Kelly decided to pursue a new opportunity in Baton Rouge, La., which is completely understandable. Now that Kelly is gone, Notre Dame has to move on to someone with an impressive background in college football. In four seasons as Oregon’s head coach, Cristobal led the Ducks to two Pac-12 Championships, and they are in the championship game against Utah on Friday.
Like Kelly, Cristobal has maximized his potential at Oregon and should be a hot commodity in the coaching carousel. Cristobal has several suitors and those rumors will start to heat up once Oregon’s game against Utah is finished on Friday night.
Notre Dame needs to take advantage of this opening and make the right hire. While names like Marcus Freeman, Urban Meyer, and Luke Fickell are all appealing to Fighting Irish fans, Cristobal would be able to turn them around in a quick manner.
Cristobal took over at Oregon at the end of the 2017 season when Willie Taggart left the program after one season for Florida State. Cristobal has experience as a head coach at FIU, as well as Oregon. His specialty is the offensive line, which would fit in perfectly with Notre Dame’s experienced offensive line.
The Fighting Irish need a coach who will push them to greatness and that is exactly what Cristobal has done with the Oregon Ducks in four seasons. South Bend, Ind., will be a fresh change of scenery for Cristobal and he will be able to bolster their offensive efforts.
He is used to running the ball with players like Anthony Brown and Travis Dye, and he will be able to do the same with Notre Dame’s running backs, especially if Kyren Williams returns for 2022.
There will be multiple candidates for Notre Dame to choose from and they are all worthy, but Cristobal is ready to make the transition from a Pac-12 powerhouse to one of the top programs in college football history.