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Reports: Notre Dame special teams coordinator Brian Mason jumping to the Indianapolis Colts

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Notre Dame gets off to a hot start vs. Clemson when Jordan Botelho blocks Aidan Swanson's kick and Prince Kollie scoops up the ball to return it for a touchdown early in the first quarter.

The late-cycle churn through Marcus Freeman’s second coaching staff continues with multiple Saturday morning reports that Notre Dame special teams coordinator Brian Mason is heading to join the Indianapolis Colts in the same role, joining new Colts head coach Shane Steichen.

Irish Illustrated first reported Mason’s departure.

Mason is the third assistant coach to leave the Irish since February, following offensive coordinator Tommy Rees (to Alabama) and offensive line coach Harry Hiestand (retirement). The most notable aspect of the grouping is not the number but the timing, as the college football assistant coach carousel spins later and later in the current calendar.

Mason was at Notre Dame for just one season, but what a season it was. The Irish blocked seven punts in 2022, repeatedly turning the tide in otherwise tense games. As former Notre Dame defensive end Isaiah Foskey said this week, it was no longer Notre Dame’s “punt return” unit.

“I like coach Mason a lot,” Foskey said at the NFL combine, fittingly in Indianapolis. “He helped me a lot with punt return, blocking the punts — it’s not called punt return; it’s called punt block. That’s basically what we were doing all season, blocking punts.”

Perhaps the most absurd part of Mason’s punt block streak was that six different players got their hands on opposing punts, Foskey the only one to get to two.

Originally from an Indianapolis suburb, Mason has plenty of quality-of-life reasons to want to join the Colts’ staff.

Notre Dame begins spring practices on March 22, setting a firm deadline for Freeman to once again complete his coaching staff, and that is if more churn does not take place. FootballScoop.com reported Friday that receivers coach Chansi Stuckey and safeties coach Chris O’Leary are both in the mix for jobs with the Baltimore Ravens.

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