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Coaching carousel, other notes

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly is used to the coaching turnover that occurs in December.

So as Notre Dame (8-4) prepares to face No. 25 Florida State (8-4) in the Champs Sports Bowl on Dec. 29, he didn't appear fazed that offensive coordinator Charley Molnar was being reported as the top candidate to take over the head coaching job at the University of Massachusetts.

"Every year, it comes during this time, the silly season of college football. There is so much movement," Kelly said Tuesday. "We're used to this. I'm used to it as a head coach, 21 years in to it now. I like my coaches a lot. It doesn't surprise me that other programs would like my guys too."

Molnar came to Notre Dame (8-4) last season with Kelly and is also the quarterbacks coach. Molnar was also a member of Kelly's staffs at Central Michigan in 2006 and Cincinnati from 2007-09.

The Minutemen are transitioning to the Football Bowl Subdivision and will play in the Mid-American Conference. Molnar, 50, has experience in the MAC, making coaching stops Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan.

Kelly said he didn't have any information to add to the Boston Globe report that said Molnar could be named the UMass coach by the end of the week.

"Nothing is official on our end," Kelly said. "Charley has not notified of anything. Once he does, we will certainly make it public. That is on Coach Molnar and UMass."

If Molnar leaves before the bowl game, the Irish could turn to Ed Warinner to take over as offensive coordinator. The offensive line coach and running game coordinator was the offensive coordinator for Kansas from 2007-09.

On the run

Junior Theo Riddick could stay at running back beyond the Champs Sports Bowl.

Riddick moved to slot receiver from running back when Kelly took over the Irish last season, but after senior Jonas Gray was lost to a knee injury against Boston College, Riddick returned to the back field against Stanford.

Riddick only ran for six yards on four carries against the Cardinal, but he could remain at running back next season with starter Cierre Wood the only back returning with significant playing experience.

"There's some room at the top for a guy like Theo Riddick," Kelly said. "I don't want to put my hand down and say we're never going to move him again, but he looks comfortable at running back right now."

Kelly is comfortable moving Riddick back to running back in the short term thanks to the options he has at receiver.

Robby Toma started the final three games this season at slot receiver when Riddick missed two games. Toma has 15 catches for 173 yards and a touchdown this year with 12 of the catches and 138 yards coming in the last three games.

"Clearly somebody had to be established in that position," Kelly said. "If we felt like we didn't have somebody there, we would be concerned. But TJ Jones can play the position for us as well. We feel like with TJ swinging and (former Bishop Dwenger standout John Goodman) going out to X that we are in good shape there, for a one-game season."

Injury updates

Kelly said Gray's surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee went well, and Gray could be healthy enough to participate in Notre Dame's pro day.

Freshman receiver Matthias Farley had an operation last week to clean up bone spurs in his leg, Kelly said.