Report: LSU offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock serious candidate for Notre Dame OC’s position

Mike Denbrock

Just over two weeks after reportedly being close to a three-year extension at LSU, offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock has strong shown interest in the vacant offensive coordinator position at Notre Dame, The Athletic reported Thursday.

Denbrock, a finalist for The Broyles Award which goes to the nation’s top college assistant coach, has emerged as a serious candidate for the Notre Dame job which came open when Gerad Parker left to become head coach at Troy.

Several news outlets reported Dec. 6 that Denbrock, 59, was close to a three-year extension on a contract that was set to pay him $1.5 million plus incentives in 2024.

It hasn’t been reported or released by LSU if Denbrock signed that extension.

The nation’s two highest-paid offensive coordinators are Clemson’s Garrett Riley and Washington’s Ryan Grubb at approximately $2 million annually. Texas A&M was reported to have pursued Denbrock when new head coach Mike Elko was hired, but wound up with Kansas State’s Collin Klein.

Denbrock, a native of Homer, Michigan, has twice coached at Notre Dame in 2002-04 and 2010-18 which his paths crossing with current Irish head coach Marcus Freeman, then the defensive coordinator, during his second stint in South Bend, Indiana under head coach Brian Kelly.

Denbrock and Freeman previously coached together for four years at the University of Cincinnati (2017-2020) where they were the offensive and defensive coordinators, respectively.

LSU led the nation in scoring (46.4) and total offense (547.8) in 2023 and was the only team in the top 10 nationally in both rushing (213.5) and passing (334.3). The Tigers were also first in third-down conversion percentage at 56.67.

Denbrock played a significant role in the development of fifth-year senior quarterback Jayden Daniels into this year’s Heisman Trophy winner.

In his first season Denbrock, a veteran of 30-plus years, guided an LSU offense that set a single-season school record with 39 rushing touchdowns.

Denbrock was also a semifinalist for the Broyles Award in ’21 after serving as offensive coordinator on Cincinnati’s 13-1 team that reached the College Football Playoff, has coached a total of 16 years with Kelly, including stops of Grand Valley State, Notre Dame and LSU.

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