The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are expected to hire Virginia Tech’s Joe Rudolph as the program’s new offensive line coach, The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman and Pete Sampson reported on Monday.
Rudolph spent just one year with the Hokies; he previously coached at Wisconsin for seven years.
Harry Hiestand had two separate stints as the offensive line coach at Notre Dame, including in 2022, but announced his retirement in early February, leaving the program in need of a new coach.
Rudolph has coached with Fighting Irish head coach Marcus Freeman at Ohio State. Freeman played linebacker while Rudolph was a graduate assistant and a strength coordinator with the Buckeyes.
Rudolph has extensive offensive line coaching experience, but has also worked as an offensive coordinator in 2020 while with Wisconsin.
“Freeman should have a solid understanding of what Rudolph will bring to the room, as their football paths began nearly 20 years ago in Columbus,” explains Notre Dame beat writer Pete Sampson.
“Rudolph coached tight ends at Nebraska and Wisconsin before becoming offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Pittsburgh under Paul Chryst from 2012 to ’14. When Chryst returned to Madison in 2015, Rudolph followed and worked under him for the next seven seasons.”
While with Wisconsin, Rudolph improved the program’s yards per carry in each of his first four seasons, topping out in 2018 at 6.22, which was ranked No. 4 in the country, per Sampson.
Rudolph helped develop first-round NFL Draft pick Ryan Ramczyk in 2017; he’s a proponent of cross-training offensive linemen, per Sampson, “meaning a left tackle could practice at right tackle or a right guard could practice at left guard.”
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish figure to be a talented group in 2023, and Joe Rudolph will be in the thick of it when spring practice begins on Mar. 22.