Notre Dame is hiring former Ohio State and NFL linebacker James Laurinaitis for its support staff.
Laurinaitis, a teammate of new Fighting Irish coach Marcus Freeman with the Buckeyes, announced his move to Notre Dame on the show he co-hosts for WBNS-AM radio in Columbus, Ohio. A source told ESPN that Laurinaitis, who became a broadcaster after his NFL career, likely would join the Notre Dame staff in an analyst role.
“With your best friend getting the head-coaching job, it’s a pretty unique situation and a pretty awesome opportunity to get up there and get started in the profession,” he said, adding he will start his new job on Jan. 10.
Laurinaitis said he had considered entering coaching for several years.
Notre Dame opens the 2022 season at Ohio State.
Laurinaitis, 35, was a three-time All-America at Ohio State and the winner of the Nagurski Award (national defensive player of the year) and the Butkus Award (top college linebacker). A two-time Big Ten defensive player of the year, Laurinaitis teamed with Freeman from 2005 to 2008, and the two started alongside each other in 2007 and 2008.
Laurinaitis was a second-round draft pick of the St. Louis Rams in 2009 and played with the Rams until 2015 before joining the New Orleans Saints in 2016. He recorded 869 career tackles, 16.5 sacks, 10 interceptions and nine fumble recoveries in his career.
He became an analyst for Big Ten Network in 2017.