SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Despite being an offensive coordinator without play-calling duties, Mike Denbrock is comfortable with where he stands in Notre Dame's offensive meeting room.
Denbrock, who took over offensive coordinator duties when Chuck Martin left for Miami (Ohio) in December, has a decade of experience coaching with Kelly and has a good rapport with the offensive-minded coach.
"I feel I have enough of a voice in the offensive staffroom and a relationship with Brian in particular and all of the offensive coaches where I think we all feel like our fingerprints are on this," Denbrock said. "I personally feel that way. I don’t feel excluded or run over by a truck or anything like that. I just want to do what I can to help this program be successful and the role I’m in I’m comfortable with and I feel I have the chance to help this football team that way."
Denbrock served as Kelly's offensive coordinator at D-II Grand Valley State from 1992-1995, and has been on Kelly's staff at Notre Dame since he took over in 2010. Denbrock was a natural choice to be Kelly's offensive coordinator when Martin left, given the pair's history together.
"We obviously have had a great working relationship for a number of years," Denbrock said. "I’m kind of used to that side of Brian being heavily involved."
With Kelly immersed in play-calling and some of the finer details of the offense, Denbrock's job is to take a step back and make sure things are running smoothly from 10,000 feet. But while Denbrock has the title of offensive coordinator, he painted his role mainly as just one part of a collaboration between himself and the rest of the offensive staff, with Kelly leading the charge.
"It’s absolutely driven by coach Kelly as the leader of the offensive unit," Denbrock said. "He’s the guy who’s obviously going to be calling the plays, so he’s going to have the most influence on what we’re doing. It’s not a time or a situation where the offensive staff isn’t involved in decision making processes and I think we all bring something different to the table ... We really have the ability as an offensive staff to talk through those things and get the finer details down and put our guys in the best position to help them."