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Reports: Notre Dame already finds new tight end coach, West Virginia’s Gerad Parker

NCAA FOOTBALL: OCT 22 Purdue at Nebraska

October 22, 2016: head coach Gerad Parker of the Purdue Boilermakers walking around talking to his player before the game against Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska 27, Purdue 14. (Photo by John S. Peterson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It took just two days for Marcus Freeman and Tommy Rees to find Notre Dame’s new tight ends coach, per multiple Wednesday morning reports. The Irish are expected to hire Gerad Parker, West Virginia’s co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach, to replace John McNulty after McNulty went to Boston College to become the Eagles offensive coordinator on Monday.

Irish Illustrated first reported the Parker news.

Originally from Huntington, W. Va., Parker had been with the Mountaineers for two years, working with Graham Harrell to run the offense. Most of his career has been spent working with receivers, but Parker was the tight ends coach at Purdue in 2013 and 2014, before moving to receivers coach there in 2015 and 2016. Freeman was also at Purdue those four years, creating the connection that now leads to Parker, 41, joining the Irish coaching staff.

While with the Boilermakers, Parker was also the recruiting coordinator, the second assistant Freeman has hired with that role in his background, along with special teams coordinator Brian Mason, who was recruiting coordinator at Cincinnati. With defensive line coach Mike Elston having left for Michigan, Notre Dame needs a new recruiting coordinator, and these two would make some sense.

In 2016, Parker also served as the interim head coach at Purdue for six games when Darrell Hazell was fired in mid-October. (The picture at the top of this article is from that stretch in Parker’s career.)

Parker played receiver at Kentucky in 2000-04, only contributing statistically in his fifth year due in large part to a rash of injuries. He immediately entered the coaching profession, beginning at the high school level in Kentucky before becoming a graduate assistant at his alma mater in 2007. His path up the coaching ranks included stops at UT Martin, Marshall, Duke and Penn State, as well.

With Parker’s hire, Freeman’s first coaching staff is once again nearly complete, needing only a defensive coordinator, the first position that was ever open on it, naturally.

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