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Clark Lea throws down the gauntlet with staff hires

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Oh, this should be good.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: APR 13 Notre Dame Spring Game Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

One of these days, we’ll have a photo of Clark Lea in Vanderbilt gear we can use. Until then, well, we can have weird photos of a coach in Notre Dame colors while we discuss new additions to the coaching staff (and one key off-field role.)

There are two ways to fill out a coaching staff. (Okay, three, but “hire your buddies” is way too common and also not recommended.) The first is to scour the ranks of lower-level guys, grad assistants and analysts looking for hidden gems, guys who are looking for their first opportunity at the big-time. The second is “hire Wisconsin’s D-line coach.” This is a straight power move that needs little explanation.

Again: power move. You’re telling me we hired a special teams coach who has a really good special teams unit at his current school? I am guessing this guy will not be sending two guys with the same jersey number out on the kickoff team.

Okay, that might fall under “hiring your buddies,” but Norval McKenzie is also currently on a Power 5 coaching staff. So, Clark Lea is 3-for-3 here.

And finally...

Hiring the senior director of scouting at 247 Sports to be your director of player personnel is like some kind of cheat code. For the record, this also falls under “hiring your buddies” what with Simmons being Lea’s former teammate at Montgomery Bell Academy (and for the record, Inoke Breckterfield was on staff at UCLA with Lea, too); it just turns out that Clark Lea knows people who are good at their jobs.