NCAA FOOTBALL: NOV 26 Purdue at Indiana
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Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman has promoted tight ends coach Gerard Parker to offensive coordinator, the school announced on Saturday, ending a lengthy search kickstarted by Tommy Rees' departure for the same job at Alabama. The Fighting Irish previously had reported interest in Kansas State offensive coordinator Collin Klein and Utah offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig, the latter of whom stayed with the Utes despite being a prime candidate for this job. 

"I am excited to announce Gerad as our new offensive coordinator," Freeman said in a statement. "I know firsthand the person, teacher, recruiter and innovative football mind he is. I look forward to watching our offense flourish under Gerad's leadership and direction." 

Parker joined the Notre Dame staff as tight ends coach prior to 2022 after spending two seasons as West Virginia's offensive coordinator, moving on after Neal Brown hired Graham Harrell to take over the offense. He had short stints at Penn State (2019) and Duke (2017-18), plus a four-year run as an assistant for Darrell Hazell at Purdue from 2013-16 that ended with Parker being named the team's interim coach after Hazell was fired.  

Freeman finalizing the offensive staff comes as the Fighting Irish are preparing for spring practice next month, which will wrap with a Blue-Gold spring game set for April 22. Promoting Parker was not the only piece of the puzzle, though. Notre Dame is also reportedly set to hire offensive assistant Gino Guidugli away from Wisconsin to serve as quarterbacks coach. Guidugli spent the last five seasons with Luke Fickell at Cincinnati, where he helped develop Desmond Ridder and spent the 2021 and 2022 seasons as the team's primary play-caller.