Earlier this month, LSU football head coach Brian Kelly hired Mike Denbrock to serve as his offensive coordinator in Baton Rouge.
Denbrock was previously the offensive coordinator at Cincinnati, a role he had been in since 2017.
Kelly and Denbrock have an extensive history working together — Denbrock was with Kelly at Grand Valley State in the 90s and later at Notre Dame.
(Oddly enough, Denbrock was Kelly’s defensive coordinator at one point at Grand Valley State.)
Denbrock led the Bearcats to the No. 11 scoring offense in the nation in 2021 (36.9 points per game).
But despite that ranking, not everyone in the coaching industry thinks Denbrock will be a good hire for Kelly and the Tigers.
Mike Denbrock is viewed as a slam dunk hire for LSU football
According to 247Sports’ Brandon Marcello, there are mixed feelings about Denbrock in the coaching community.
“Reviews among those in the industry are mixed with Cincinnati offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock as a game-day coach,” wrote Marcello this week.
This doesn’t really come as a surprise.
Remember, Kelly demoted Denbrock as Notre Dame’s play-caller after the 2016 season.
Denbrock was listed as Notre Dame’s wide receivers coach in 2016. But he was still calling plays. Kelly stripped those duties from Denbrock after the Irish went 4-8 in 2016.
Instead of sticking around in South Bend, Denbrock left for Cincinnati, in part so he could call plays again.
It’s certainly a strange situation. Clearly, the two still get along and there aren’t any hard feelings. But at the same time, Kelly didn’t think Denbrock was good enough to lead Notre Dame’s offense in 2017.
What’s going to be different at LSU?
This is certainly a hire to keep an eye on in 2022.