Updated Tuesday, December 18 at 11:43 p.m. CT.
By Adam Hoge-
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (CBS) A few weeks ago, the chances of defensive coordinator Bob Diaco staying at Notre Dame after the BCS National Championship Game seemed very low.
Diaco, winner of the Broyles Award (top assistant coach) and leader of the nation’s No. 1 ranked scoring defense, was receiving interest from a number of schools looking for a new head coach. He was reportedly a finalist for the Boston College job and also reportedly interviewed at Cal and Temple.
As of Monday, however, interest in Diaco had died down.
“I would imagine that there’s opportunities, but I’m not in direct conversation with anyone in the country,” Diaco said.
That’s probably partially because the number of openings across the country is now down to just two: Florida International and Utah State.
Diaco’s name had been in the mix for the Wisconsin job primarily because it just made too much sense. UW Athletic Director Barry Alvarez was hired as Wisconsin’s head coach in 1990 by way of Notre Dame, where he was Lou Holtz’s defensive coordinator.
Diaco told CBSChicago.com Monday that he hadn’t “personally heard from Wisconsin.”
The 39-year-old assistant sounded Monday as if he’s still open to opportunities, but right now he’s concentrating on beating Alabama and not letting it become a distraction.
“It’s an honor to be in the conversation,” he said. “I’m very proud of that and I’m honored by it. So, I don’t hide or run from it either, but it hasn’t been a problem to manage any of that.”
Diaco is a well-spoken, fiery defensive coordinator who played for Hayden Fry at Iowa in the mid-90s. He’s been with Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly since he was at Central Michigan and the duo has become a dominant coaching force in college football.
“It’s Batman-Robin. Obviously, he’s Batman,” Diaco said. “It’s the best. I know what he’s thinking before he’s thinking it. I’m on it. He doesn’t have to come talk to me. He does, and he can, and he knows I’m not going to be sensitive about it.”
Batman and Robin once appeared to be headed for a separation, but it’s possible Notre Dame will end up keeping its defensive coordinator. There always seems to be a few openings after the bowl season, but if nothing presents itself, Diaco is just fine staying in South Bend.
“I really believe I have the best assistant coaching job in America,” he said. “I love who I work for. I love where I work. I don’t want to change who I work for and I don’t want to change where I work. So I love my job.”
Notre Dame fans are hoping he loves his current job for at least one more year.
For more Notre Dame coverage leading up to the BCS National Championship Game, follow Adam Hoge on Twitter (@AdamHogeCBS).