It appears there will be changes to our coaching staff after all.
Linebackers coach Brian VanGorder, as rumored, has left the Green & White to take over as defensive coordinator at Notre Dame, a transaction that was announced officially on the Fighting Irish website this afternoon.
VanGorder's one-year tenure with the Jets was certainly successful. He contributed to our league-best 3.35 rushing yards allowed per play, but it was by no means a one-dimensional run-stopping crew. Our linebackers also contributed to more than half of our team's sacks (22.5 out of 41).
Eleventh-year LB Calvin Pace led the way on the pass rush, enjoying a renaissance season with a career-high 10.0 sacks, while seventh-year LB David Harris recorded a career-high 149 tackles. In addition, second-year LB Demario Davis had a breakout season and LB Quinton Coples, in his second NFL season but his first at linebacker, bounced back from a preseason injury to finish with a team-high 50 QB hurries.
Jets third-year CB Darrin Walls, a Notre Dame alum, said late last month that VanGorder would be a great hire for the Irish.
"I think he's done a tremendous job with our linebackers, and you can see their play on the field displays that," Walls said. "Notre Dame is about high-character guys with performance on and off the field, and I think that Coach VanGorder possesses those qualities to be a great defensive coordinator there. I think the kids would really enjoy him and his coaching style and he'd be able to help them out a lot."