Notre Dame plans to hire Baylor wide receivers coach Chansi Stuckey for the same position, according to multiple reports. Stuckey, 38, was an All-ACC receiver at Clemson in 2005 and 2006 and played five years in the NFL before holding off-field coaching positions with the Tigers in 2019 and 2020. He spent 2021 with the Bears in his first on-field role and will replace Del Alexander, who had held the job for the last five seasons.
During Stuckey's one season in Waco, Texas, Baylor won the Big 12 title and beat Mississippi in the Sugar Bowl to finish 12-2. The Bears were a run-oriented team, but receiver Tyquan Smith had a breakout year with 62 catches for 948 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Stuckey inherits an Irish receiver corps that remains thin after the transfer of Lawrence Keys III in October, the departure of top pass-catcher Kevin Austin Jr. for the NFL and the de-commitments of 2022 recruits C.J. Williams and Amorion Walker shortly before the Dec. 15 National Signing Day. The Irish got some help when speedster Avery Davis announced he would return for a sixth year in 2022, but they are still waiting on Joe Wilkins Jr. to decide whether he will come back after tearing his ACL mid-season in 2021. Stuckey's hire could be the final piece of the puzzle on Wilkins' decision one way or the other.
The Irish also reportedly interviewed Northrop graduate and Purdue co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach JaMarcus Shephard for the position. Shephard, 38, is far more qualified than Stuckey on paper, having been a Division I wide receivers coach for eight years, including the last five with Purdue. He's successfully guided Rondale Moore and David Bell to stardom and then the NFL and has held a co-coordinator title for four seasons.
Stuckey was reportedly not the favorite going into the interview process, but he appears to have impressed the Irish staff when he spoke with them.
Shephard will instead reportedly take the wide receivers coach job at Washington, where he will be on the staff of former Indiana offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer, who is entering his first year leading the Huskies. Shephard previously spent a year as Washington State's inside wide receivers coach, so he is somewhat familiar with the recruiting terrain.