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Brian Mason Leaving Notre Dame: Marty Biagi Expected to Fill Role

By: Michael Blough | Writer | Twitter: @MichaelBlough12


They say all good things come to an end, and that rang true this weekend. Just about mid-morning on Saturday, it was announced that Brian Mason was going to be filling the open role of Special Teams Coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts. Mason is from Indiana and I would imagine that played heavily into his decision to leave Notre Dame after just one year of coaching for the Irish.

Instant Impact

What Brian Mason was able to accomplish in just one year with Notre Dame was nothing short of amazing. Under Brian Kelly, special teams seemed an afterthought and were often the cause of game-altering plays or miscues. Under Brian Mason this year, the Irish completely flipped the script. They used special teams to gain a unique advantage over their opponents and make plays that can change the outcome of the game. Notre Dame was able to block seven punts this season, two more than any other team in the country, according to NCAA.com. Never mind the actual blocked punts or made field goals, Mason was able to change the mantra around special teams. Freeman made it clear from day one that special teams would become a focus for him and that starters were going to be very impactful on special teams, not just non-starters. I mean, who's gonna say that they do not want to be on the punt block unit when it was as successful as it was? If that isn't enough for you, just remember back to the USC game where Lincoln Riley didn't even feel comfortable enough to bring his punt unit on the field, so Caleb Williams was tasked with pooch punting (as well as making a mockery of the Notre Dame defense). I would expect Mason to be very successful in the NFL with his understanding and knowledge of special teams.


Photo Credit: USA Today

What Does This Mean For Notre Dame?

As awesome as Mason was, I don't see someone coming in and having the same impact. Guys like Brian that take their job ultra-seriously and won't let anything get in their way of trying to make an impactful play are hard to find. But, what the next ST coordinator can do is feed off of the energy that was created. Special teams is not a unit where talent matters most, but you still need impact players out there to tilt the odds in your favor. The part that matters most is getting young adults to buy into the studying and execution it takes to have an outstanding ST unit. So who's next on head coach Marcus Freeman's radar? Well, reports coming out mid-afternoon on Sunday stated that Marty Biagi is a person of interest. Biagi is somewhat accustomed to South Bend as some may remember him being an analyst for the special teams unit in 2016 under Scott Booker's direction. Since then, Biagi has been the special teams coordinator at UNT (North Texas), Purdue, and most recently at Ole Miss. One constant for Marty Biagi is the kicking game. According to several sources, Biagi is really able to help punters and kickers from a technical perspective because of his background. In 2005 and 2007 Biagi served as the punter and placekicker for Marshall and did a pretty decent job. I think Biagi has the skillset to pick up right where Mason let off and continue the impact of special teams here at Notre Dame. The only thing that could hold him back is that Notre Dame will replace Blake Grupe and Jon Sot (who was outstanding) in 2023. To fill the kicking duties, Spencer Shrader transfers in from South Florida, and Ben Krimm transfers in from Penn and will handle the punting duties.

Photo Credit: 247Sports


 

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1 Comment


Guest
Mar 07, 2023

Solid article. Good insights! keep it up guys!

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