Tonight, it was announced that Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco would be leaving the Fighting Irish to become the head coach at UConn. The move certainly made sense for him, but was a significant blow to Notre Dame, which had already lost offensive coordinator Chuck Martin just a few days before, as he left to become the head man at Miami (Ohio). Brian Kelly is going to have some serious roles to fill, especially if either Martin or Diaco decide to bring along any current Notre Dame assistants with them.
One Notre Dame player was extremely upset with the departure tonight, and it’s an important one: star defensive end Stephon Tuitt. He took to Twitter to voice his displeasure — the tweet has since been removed (h/t @TommyTheTaylor):
This is pretty notable for the Irish, who would really, really like Tuitt to return for another season instead of going to the NFL, particularly because nose tackle Louis Nix is already on his way out. Losing two players of that caliber on the defensive line would be tough, especially while breaking in a new defensive coordinator. It’s also interesting that Tuitt seemed to indicate that leaving is something pervasive in the program, and not just specific to Diaco. He could possibly be referring to the departures of Nix and Martin as well.
The ultimate irony here is that if Tuitt is displeased enough by the changes to leave himself, he would essentially would be doing the same thing that he strongly criticized — Irish fans will just have to hope that he feels very strongly about sticking with the program, and wants to inspire the change that he prefers to see in it.