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Notre Dame's Next Receivers Coach: Evaluating Potential Chansi Stuckey Replacements

Written by Connor D'Aquila ⏐ Writer ⏐ Twitter/X: @ConnorDaquilaIT

Photo by The Irish Tribune


This Tuesday, it was announced that wide receivers coach Chansi Stuckey and Notre Dame would be parting ways. In just his second year with the program, it was yet another disappointing season for the Irish receiving corps. While Stuckey has shown a strong ability to recruit, the development of these players has not been up to par. Perhaps most disappointing was the lack of production from returning players like Tobias Merriweather and Jayden Thomas, who are both impressive athletes and talented football players. We saw strong seasons from freshmen Jaden Greathouse, Rico Flores, and Jordan Faison, but they were not enough to have an elite group that could make Sam Hartman’s job easy. No matter the reason, we will have someone new in the role next year, and below we dive into some of the options. There is the possibility that we see Gerad Parker, who is taking over in the interim, assume the role given his past experience, but this article will focus on outside candidates.





Jamarcus Shephard

This one would admittedly be difficult, but Shephard is a guy who is hard not to include. Currently the associate head coach, pass game coordinator, and wide receivers coach at Washington, he has had massive success with their two-headed monster of Rome Odunze and Jalen McMillan. The offense as a whole has been dominant en route to a 12-0 record, and Shephard’s role in that cannot be overlooked. Many hoped he would be the hire when Stuckey first came to South Bend, as he has long been a hot name in the CFB world. Since starting his collegiate career at Western Kentucky, he has quickly climbed the ranks, eventually finding major success at Purdue. Major names he developed with the Boilermakers include David Bell and Rondale Moore, who went back to back as Big Ten Freshman of the Year. The Purdue passing offense became one of the best in the country under Shephard, and he would be a huge addition to the Irish staff. The biggest concerns are his high-level position at Washington and his $800,000 salary. Notre Dame would have to shell out a substantial amount of money to get him, but we can only hope the administration would be willing. There is also the fact that Shephard is from Fort Wayne, went to DePauw University, and has connections around Indiana, which could make the job more appealing.


Malcolm Kelly

Coach Kelly is another hot name in college coaching due to TCU’s 2022 success. As the assistant head coach and outside wide receivers coach, the Horned Frogs had an elite passing attack on their way to a national championship game appearance. His development was a major factor in the rise of Quentin Johnson and Derius Davis, both of whom were drafted and now play for the Chargers. He also made Jalen Reagor into the first round pick that he became. This year has been a bit rough for the TCU passing game, but the team did lose their top three receivers from last year and still have two receivers and a tight end with over 500 yards thus far. This could be another difficult pull given the assistant head coach title, but the ND job should have some added allure. This wouldn’t be the sure-thing hire that Shephard is, but it would still be a major move. The last thing to consider with Kelly is his elite recruiting that has consistently brought in the top players in TCU’s classes.





Joe Price

Price is a riskier pick than the previous two, but would bring a lot of upside to the role at Notre Dame. Currently associate head coach, pass game coordinator, and wide receivers coach at UTSA, he has built a passing attack good enough to compete with anyone in the country. In 2022, the Roadrunners had an elite trio at receiver, all of whom got all-conference recognition and combined for 2,862 yards. This year has been a bit of a step back, but only one of those three players came back, and he has gone for over 1,000 yards again. Price also has a recruiting background as the former director of player personnel, but it is hard to know whether he can attract the top players given UTSA’s weaker program history. Nonetheless, it would be another young addition to the staff and a guy who could turn out to be elite.


Mike Brown

This is another Cincinnati connection to Coach Freeman, something he has taken advantage of frequently in his first two years at Notre Dame. Currently at Wisconsin after making the move with Fickell, he serves as associate head coach and wide receivers coach. Fickell clearly thinks highly of him, and he has been a major young name in college football. The biggest concern here is the lack of elite names or performers being developed under him. Granted Wisconsin has never been known for a great passing attack, but his first season there has not been great. With almost no improvement over last year and their leading receiver accounting for 694 yards, we have not seen the production that some of these other coaches have. On the other hand, Cincinnati did have some elite offenses in his time there, and we cannot overlook how good some of those teams were overall. His receivers also broke multiple school records in 2021. This is definitely one of the more realistic names on the list, and although it would not bring the excitement that some others would, Brown is not a bad coach by any standards.


Kevin Cummings

Cummings is another young name in CFB that I would love to see Freeman take a chance on. Currently the wide receivers coach at Arizona, he has gotten substantial production out of those pass catchers in their last two seasons. In 2022, they had two 1,000-yard receivers, and this year, sophomore Tetairoa McMillan has gone for over 1,200 yards after a 700-yard freshman season. He has also shown a fair amount of recruiting ability with the Wildcats, which is just another plus. Overall, Arizona has had some good teams and particularly strong offenses over the past few years, and bringing in a coach who has contributed to that would be great for the Irish. His name might fly a bit more under the radar, but I think this could be a great hire.


The options are certainly out there, but it will be interesting to see how Freeman and the administration go about this process. Will they be willing to shell out the money needed for a big name? That has been a major concern in recent years, but we can only hope that they understand the significance of this position and the need for development. It is also important to note that none of these names come from inside information and are just about who could be a good fit. Shepherd would clearly be the top coach to bring in, but we could see them go for a younger guy as well. Lonnie Gollaway at UNC is another name to watch, but I chose to leave him off the list given his older age and close relationship with Mack Brown.





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