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OL coach Hiestand leaving to join Bears

11 January 2018

Bears coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace spent Wednesday in talks with Vic Fangio about a return as defensive coordinator.

Notre Dame offensive line coach Harry Hiestand will reportedly be hired by the Chicago Bears for the same position, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.

"I was fortunate to have the honor of coaching the offensive line at Notre Dame for the past six years", Hiestand said in a statement.

During his tenure, four Notre Dame offensive linemen - Zack Martin, Chris Watt, Ronnie Stanley and Nick Martin - were all drafted in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft since 2013, with two more - Quenton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey - expected to join that group.

Hiestand will be responsible for coaxing more consistent performances from the Bears' 30th-ranked offense, which struggled up front with injuries and penalties last season under former offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn. "He totally buys into you, which makes you totally buy into him". In 2011, he mentored a Volunteers offensive line that allowed just 18 sacks, second to only Alabama in the SEC.

The Irish offensive line struggled with its chemistry and execution in 2016 and the results were evident in the program struggling to a 4-8 record. He doesn't care about moving up the ladder or getting credit for anything.

Hiestand served in that role with the Bears for five seasons (2005 to 2009) earlier in his career.

Before joining the Bears, Hiestand spent eight seasons at IL (1997-2004) under Ron Turner and developed six linemen who were drafted, including David Diehl and Tony Pashos.

OL coach Hiestand leaving to join Bears