Al Washington to Become Notre Dame’s Defensive Line Coach, Joining Marcus Freeman's Coaching Staff

By Kevin Harrish on January 16, 2022 at 1:09 pm
Al Washington

When Notre Dame comes to Columbus to open the 2022 season, Marcus Freeman won't be the only one facing his former team.

With defensive line coach Mike Elston leaving South Bend and heading to Michigan, former Ohio State linebackers coach Al Washington is set to become the new defensive run game coordinator and defensive line coach at Notre Dame, joining Freeman's new coaching staff, according to multiple reports.

Washington's first game as part of Notre Dame's staff will be in Columbus against his former team as the Irish open the 2022 season on the road against Ohio State. Freeman, a former Buckeye linebacker, will also be coaching against his alma mater to open his first full season as a head coach, while fellow former Buckeye linebacker James Laurinaitis was also recently hired to Notre Dame’s support staff.

Ohio State and Washington parted ways on Thursday after three seasons. New Buckeye defensive coordinator Jim Knowles is expected to take over as the primary coach for Ohio State's linebackers while the Buckeyes also added former Cincinnati cornerbacks coach Perry Eliano and Jacksonville Jaguars cornerbacks coach Tim Walton to coach the secondary.

The Buckeyes hired Washington in January 2019 to replace former linebackers coach Billy Davis once Ryan Day took over as the team's head coach. During his time in Columbus, he helped coach three linebackers that were selected in the first three rounds of the NFL draft: Malik Harrison, Pete Werner and Baron Browning. He was not retained for 2022, however, after Ohio State’s linebackers and defense as a whole struggled for most of the 2021 season.

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