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Brian Kelly Reportedly Expected To Hire Former Star Player

A closeup of Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly wearing a visor.

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 29: Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish takes the field with his team before the game against the Clemson Tigers during the College Football Playoff Semifinal Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at AT&T Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Brian Kelly promoted former Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees to offensive coordinator earlier this offseason. Now, he's reportedly set to hire one of the stars from his tenure at Cincinnati to work with the Irish defensive backs.

According to Yahoo's Pete Thamel, Notre Dame is expected to hire Mike Mickens as an assistant coach. Mickens would take the place of cornerbacks coach Todd Lyght, who stepped down in January after five seasons in South Bend. A former star player for the Bearcats from 2005-08--those last two years under Kelly--Mickens coached cornerbacks at his alma mater the last two seasons.

Mickens previously coached the corners at Bowling Green from 2014-17 and at Idaho in 2013. He was a defensive assistant at Indiana State in 2012 after starting his coaching career as a defensive assistant at Cincinnati in 2011.

Notre Dame's defensive pass game coordinator Terry Joseph is also the team's safeties coach. Presumably, he would stay in that role as Mickens took over tutoring the cornerbacks.

Mickens was a four-time All-Big East performer at Cincinnati, making second team all-conference in 2005, 2006 and 2008 and earning first-team accolades in 2007. He was also named second-team All-American that season.

Notre Dame finished 2019 with an 11-2 overall record and a win over Iowa State in the Camping World Bowl.

The Irish have won double-digit games in four of the last five seasons under Kelly.