Notre Dame RB coach Lance Taylor leaving to become Louisville offensive coordinator

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Notre Dame RB coach Lance Taylor leaving to become Louisville offensive coordinator

Patrick Engel01/16/22
Article written by:Patrick EngelPatrick Engel

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notre dame football running backs coach Lance Taylor
Notre Dame hired Lance Taylor as running backs coach in 2019 (Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).

Notre Dame’s coaching staff has another vacancy to fill.

Running backs coach and run-game coordinator Lance Taylor is leaving to become the offensive coordinator at Louisville, a source confirmed to BlueandGold.com. ESPN was first to report the news. Taylor has been on the Irish’s staff since 2019. He’s the fifth Notre Dame assistant to depart the program since head coach Brian Kelly left for LSU in late November.

Taylor was key in developing former Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams into a two-time 1,000-yard rusher and a three-and-done NFL draft entrant. Williams broke out for 1,125 yards in 2020 and followed it up with 1,002 yards this season. He was the first Irish running back to post consecutive 1,000-yard seasons since Darius Walker in 2005-06.

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Taylor also recruited and signed Chris Tyree, a top-100 prospect in the 2020 class. Notre Dame signed a pair of running backs in 2021, three-star Logan Diggs and four-star Audric Estime. The former was the Irish’s third-leading rusher this year, with 230 yards on 4.4 yards per carry. Four-star recruit and December signee Jadarian Price will join the running back unit in 2022.

Notre Dame hired Taylor away from the NFL after the 2018 season. He was the Carolina Panthers’ wide receivers coach from 2017-18. Before that, he served as Stanford’s running backs coach from 2014-16, when he coached Heisman Trophy finalists Christian McCaffrey and Bryce Love. He was on the Panthers’ staff in 2013 as the assistant wide receivers coach and worked for the New York Jets from 2010-12 as an intern and a quality control coach.

Taylor began his coaching career in 2007 at Alabama, his alma mater, as a graduate assistant on Nick Saban’s staff. He was a wide receiver for the Crimson Tide from 1999-2003 and began his time there as a walk-on. He left after two years to be the wide receivers coach at Appalachian State in 2009.

Louisville did not have an offensive coordinator in 2021. The Cardinals ranked 10th nationally in yards per play this year and fifth in yards per carry. They went 6-7 and 4-4 in the ACC.

Taylor is the second Notre Dame assistant to depart in four days. Defensive line coach Mike Elston left Thursday for the same job at Michigan after 12 seasons on the Irish staff. Wide receivers coach Del Alexander and offensive line coach Jeff Quinn were not retained. Special teams coordinator Brian Polian took the same position at LSU in December. Freeman is also still searching for a defensive coordinator to fill the role he vacated.

Notre Dame has hired Cincinnati special teams coordinator Brian Mason to replace Polian, picked Baylor wide receivers coach Chansi Stuckey to fill Alexander’s job and brought Harry Hiestand back for his second stint coaching the offensive line.

BlueandGold.com’s Mike Singer contributed to this story.