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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, January 12, 2017 5:39 pm

Irish add Wake Forest assistant to coach LB's

Chris Goff | The Journal Gazette

Notre Dame has hired Wake Forest linebackers coach Clark Lea to the same position, the Irish announced Thursday, giving new defensive coordinator Mike Elko a trusted assistant.

“Clark is a wonderful addition to our staff,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said in a written statement issued by the school. “Obviously, he brings a substantial amount of knowledge about Elko’s defensive system having worked with Mike at both Bowling Green and Wake Forest."

Lea also served as linebackers coach at Syracuse from 2013-15, UCLA from 2010-11 and South Dakota State from 2007-08.

Irish recruiting coordinator Mike Elston coached linebackers in 2016 but will be defensive line coach in 2017, replacing Keith Gilmore, who is not expected to be retained.

Lea played fullback at Vanderbilt from 2002-04.

“I’m humbled to be a part of the Notre Dame football program,” Lea said in a written statement. “It’s an honor to represent such a prestigious academic institution, and to be a part of this program’s rich tradition of athletic excellence. I’d like to thank Jack Swarbrick and Coach Kelly for this tremendous opportunity. I’m excited to get to work building relationships with our players, and do my part in helping coach Kelly execute his vision for the program.”