A convo with Bobby Diaco 

March, 8, 2010
Coaching changes bring optimism, of course; there seems to be plenty of that around South Bend these days. I spoke to Bobby Diaco (here's his bio), the new defensive coordinator of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish under new head man Brian Kelly. We talked about Coach Kelly, the new approach in South Bend and how preparations for spring ball and the upcoming season have been going as the staff works to make ND a top-10 program again. The Irish have a big junior day coming up March 20 as one step in the process.

From speaking with Coach Kelly a few weeks back, he spoke of a sense of entitlement with the team before. What are the things you can get a sense of that you may not necessarily pick up from studying the game film of your players?

Diaco: I would say that, as a coach, the first thing that you see as a person as a trained evaluator is their body type when they're walking around. Who has some level of fitness, tangible qualities or tangible liabilities. That's first as you walk in the door and are presented with the player. You're getting an opinion on what's important to that player. Is he physically fit and lean and trim, and well-dressed and clean-cut? You can see a lot of other things in there: drive, passion for the task, energy. If he's overweight, out of shape, sloppy in his appearance -- things untied, things undone -- right there it correlates a lack of attention to detail in how they're living their life.

How much have you watched of last season's defense?

I've watched a pretty good amount of it.

Who jumps out at you?