The guest of today’s episode is Chip Long. Coach Long is currently the offensive coordinator of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and starting his 3rd season. Prior to Notre Dame, Long spent several seasons with head coach Mike Norvell where he followed him from Arizona State to Memphis before getting hired by Brian Kelly. Coach Long also coached at Illinois, and GA’d under Bobby Petrino during his time at Louisville and Arkansas.
For a young coach, Chip has succeeded early and coached for some of the best. In my opinion, it’s only a matter of time until he gets a prominent head coaching job, but what stuck out to me while visiting with him was the level of respect his peers, especially the older coaches on staff, have for him. I was told by several on staff, “Chip is sharp, one of the best we’ve been around, and 100% gets it.” It was cool to hear them scheming for the upcoming season and say, “We’ll have to see what Chip thinks.” To me, this was awesome to hear and experience first hand….the amount of respect, wisdom, and simply put – polish was unbelievable throughout the hallways in the Notre Dame Football Offices.
Many people have asked me to start talking about my experiences when I visit these college programs and NFL Franchises. Especially the Notre Dame faithful. The football facilities were special, painted in blue and gold with the logo “ND” throughout. One of the strongest brands in college football. The indoor practice facility had just opened and was top notch. Large doors opened up to the outdoor fields practically connected to the facility and it had some of the best turf, and lighting indoors I have seen. I have to believe if you’re a recruit, it’s tough to say no to a place like that. Not to mention, the place and campus as a whole, reeks of football tradition. The golden dome, gold helmets, Lou Holtz, Tim Brown etc… one can get lost just taking it all in over the course of a day. The candlelit grotto you see on the movie Rudy is special, with touchdown Jesus overlooking you at all times. The grass, the flowers throughout the campus is like a fairway on a golf course. Everything looks, feels, smells perfect. If you’re a football fan, especially for the Irish, the place is a slice of heaven.
Lastly, Coach Long walked me across campus to see my man and old friend Mike Brey. Brey is the head coach of the Men’s Basketball team at Notre Dame, and came from the University of Delaware. Back in his Delaware days, I grew up with his son, Kyle, so it was great to reminisce and catch up with Coach. Thank you Coach Brey for the time and hospitality, and thanks Chip for the time spent. Can’t wait to get back, #GoIrish!
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