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Notre Dame fires defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder

24 September 2016: Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder in action during a game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Duke Blue Devils at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, IN. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire)
Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish fired defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder on Sunday afternoon, following the team’s stunning 38-35 loss at home against the Duke Blue Devils, which moved them to 1-3 on the season.

VanGorder has been in the capacity of defensive coordinator with the Fighting Irish since 2014, when he switched back to the collegiate game from the professional ranks. With a coaching career that began in 1981, the veteran coach has made 12 coaching stops between the collegiate and professional ranks in that time span.

In the NFL, he first served as the Jacksonville Jaguars’ linebackers coach in 2005, then in the same capacity with the Atlanta Falcons in 2007 before moving on to become the team’s defensive coordinator from 2008 through 2011. He also spent just one season with the New York Jets as the linebackers’ coach back in 2013.

His stops in the college game are long, including Grand Valley State (1989-1991), Wayne State (1992-1994), Central Florida (1995-1997), Central Michigan (1998-1999), Western Illinois (2000), Georgia (2001-2004), Georgia Southern (2006), Auburn (2012), and most recently, Notre Dame (2014-2016).

In his tenure with the Fighting Irish, the team has gone 19-11. Sans the team’s throttling of the University of Nevada, the Notre Dame defense has been taking on water, allowing 50 points in their season-opener against Texas, before giving up 36 to Michigan State and another 38 to Duke. The move comes ahead of the team’s game slated for next weekend at MetLife Stadium when they will take on the Syracuse Orange in a neutral-site game.

The Fighting Irish may have eliminated themselves from the College Football Playoff, but they still have games against Stanford, Miami and USC to play in a season that could get away from them if their defense does not improve.

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