When Luke Fickell was hired as head coach it brought in a coach with extensive experience and proven ability to coach one side of the ball: defense. Fickel’s acumen as an offensive mind was largely unproven so who he brought in as offensive coordinator was the biggest question mark when it came to shaping his staff.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel, UC has found the man to lead its offensive upheaval, as Notre Dame offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock will reportedly become the next OC for the Bearcats.
Denbrock has been on the Notre Dame staff since 2010 and has served in numerous roles including tight ends coach, passing game coordinator and offensive coordinator. He has also served as associate head coach under Brian Kelly who you may remember coached UC from 2007 to 2009.
The Fighting Irish ranked 38th in the country in offensive S&P+ this past season despite finishing 4-8 overall. They also scored 30.9 points per game and averaged 6.07 yards per play. Denbrock’s 2015 unit was much more effective, ranking seventh in the nation in offensive S&P+.
That type of success (or even the production from ND’s 2016 team) would be an incredible leap for UC, which ranked 122nd in the country in scoring offense in 2016 (19.3 PPG) while averaging 5.28 yards per play.