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Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame Makes Mike Mickens Official

March 2, 2020

Notre Dame has had its new cornerbacks coach for weeks now, but the Irish and Brian Kelly officially announced the hire of Mike Mickens on Monday afternoon.

“I was drawn to Notre Dame because of the competitiveness on and off the field,” Mickens said in a statement released by the University. “The high standard and tradition makes you want to be a part of something special here. Having played for Coach Kelly, I know firsthand that he’s always striving to bring out the best in each student-athlete and I’m excited to be a part of that process.

Mickens was on staff as the Bearcats recorded back-to-back 11-win seasons in 2018 and 2019. 

“Mike has shown an incredible ability to get the most out of his players and I am excited to add him to our staff,” Kelly said in the release.

The key connection here is that he played for Brian Kelly at Cincinnati. He was a 2nd team All-American there as a cornerback.

He was on staff at Bowling Green from 2014-2017 (after Mike Elko/Clark Lea). He's been at Cincinnati the last couple of years coaching cornerbacks.

Freshman Ahmad Gardner was a low 3-star recruit who became the 6th highest grade cornerback in the country while working with Mickens in 2019. Gardner didn’t allow a single touchdown and was 1st team All-AAC.

Cincinnati finished 15th in pass efficiency defense in 2019 and was 13th in 2018. The year before Mickens arrived they were 113th in that category. 

Mickens played at Cincinnati from 2005-2008 and played one year in the NFL with the Dallas, Tampa and Cincinnati. 

Notre Dame's search for the cornerback coach position centered around Daronte Jones, Christian Parker, Cory Sanders, Robert Steeples and Mickens. 

The Mickens File
2011: Cincinnati - Defensive Assistant
2012: Indiana State - Defensive Assistant
2013: Idaho - Cornerbacks
2014-17: Bowling Green - Cornerbacks
2018-19: Cincinnati - Cornerbacks

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