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Gino Guidugli Announced as Notre Dame's New QB Coach

By: Michael Blough | Writer | Twitter: @MichaelBlough12

Yesterday it was announced that Gino Guidugli would officially fill the secondary role of QB coach that Tommy Rees left. Gino has had an interesting career, but some of the details remain constant with other coaches brought in. For one, he was previously at the University of Cincinnati under the direction of HC Luke Fickell. Once Fickell departed and took the head coaching position at Wisconsin, Gino was to follow him. That was until a few weeks ago when Gino became the lead candidate for the open QB coaching role. This article will give you some background on Gino's past coaching career and speculate on what Gino can bring to the Irish QB room.

Coaching Career Review

Gino Guidugli started his coaching career in 2010 as a GA at Central Michigan University. This was after his 10+ year playing career, where he would start in the NFL and then bounce around other leagues (CFL, AFL) for quite some time. His time as a GA was mostly spent with the wide receivers and also working on the scout team. Before the 2013 season, he was officially promoted to running backs coach for the Chippewas where he would spend four years in that role. During his time as the running backs coach, he was pivotal in boosting the Chippewas rushing attack, mostly doing it with a "by committee" approach, or using many backs in their schemes. He would even spend one season as their OC in 2016. From there, Guidugli would move to his alma mater to coach running backs for the University of Cincinnati. He started there in 2017 as their running backs coach but would move over to be their QB coach after just one season. He would hold this position through 2022, while also taking on the role of Passing Game Coordinator for two years, and then becoming their Offensive Coordinator.

There is no doubt that Gino's offense and passing game were successful, but he also did a fine job of recruiting/developing talent while at the University of Cincinnati. Most notably, he took Desmond Ridder under his wing and developed him into a desirable college quarterback and an NFL QB. There should be no doubts about Gino's relentlessness on the recruiting trail as he has previously served as a recruiting coordinator and has shown a great deal of success recruiting at the quarterback position.

Photo Credit: University of Wisconsin

What To Expect

In the upcoming 2023 season, we will see a lot of change in the Irish offense. First off, Gerad Parker has been promoted to Offensive Coordinator and now Gino will handle the QB coaching. With Sam Hartman presumably taking over the QB position, I think Notre Dame is in an interesting position. There's no doubt that Hartman is experienced playing in a pass-first offense, and I would expect Parker and company to lean into that added strength more than last year. There's no doubt that the running game will be pivotal, though. Where I think Gino can play a pivotal role is in the future of Notre Dame football. Gino will be tasked with further developing Tyler Buchner (assuming he stays in South Bend) and turning him into the type of talent that many Irish fans expected since his arrival. Not only that, but he will be responsible for leading the charge on keeping the 2024 class together. At the moment, it appears that CJ Carr and others are still "in" on Notre Dame, but you never know when these feelings might subside with different people in the building.

Lastly, I think Notre Dame adding a full-time QB coach that has some previous experience is a great look. Too many times under the past regime it felt that Tommy was more focused on the offense as a whole rather than being able to attentively develop the QB's that were in the program. I would look for Gino to improve the QB play and also the ability to develop talent within the QB room. I not only think this is a great hire but one that will make a noticeable difference on the field.


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