Notre Dame continues to be a top destination for young, up-and-coming coaches.
After previously hiring Marcus Freeman as defensive coordinator and then snagging Chad Bowden away from Cincinnati, where Bowden served as the Bearcats' director of recruiting, the Fighting Irish have added former Houston Texans offensive assistant coach John Aylward into an analyst role.
Aylward replaces Pat Kramer, who recently was hired by the Atlanta Falcons and first-year coach Arthur Smith into an analyst role.
Aylward first served on the Houston Texans staff as an intern in 2018. He was added to the staff into a full-time role as an offensive assistant, along with former Houston quarterback T.J. Yates, prior to the 2019 season on Bill O'Brien's staff.
Aylward is a Massachusetts native who played collegiately at St. Anselm College.
After beginning his career at St. Anselm as a quarterback, Aylward closed out his career for the NCAA Division II Hawks as a wide receiver.
Aylward comes from a staunch football family. His father, Brian Aylward, has served as a longtime head coach at Tewskbury Memorial High School, where John starred before he finished out his prep career at Williston Northampton Prep. Brian Aylward and Bill O'Brien were collegiate teammates at Brown University.
Aylward and Bowden both joined the Fighting Irish staff in what head coach Brian Kelly has termed integral analyst roles – particularly as it pertains to recruiting – this year. Bowden is the son of former Cincinnati Reds general manager and noted Major League Baseball executive Jim Bowden.
“We added offensive and defensive analysts, that are focused primarily in recruiting efforts,” Kelly said. “I guess the best way to put it is that they're offensive and defensive coordinators in recruiting.
“They get the whole staff together, coordinate the efforts in terms of recruiting. Making sure that they're touching base with recruits, daily. That's not a 9 to 5 job; that's late at night.”