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Chargers hiring Notre Dame’s Chris O’Leary to coach safeties

Chris O’Leary has coached defensive backs at Notre Dame for the past three seasons.

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Oklahoma State at Notre Dame Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Chargers have added another member to their defensive coaching staff as they’re reportedly set to hire Notre Dame’s Chris O’Leary as their next safeties coach. O’Leary has coached defensive backs for the Irish for the past three seasons, including current NFL star Kyle Hamilton (2023 All-Pro) and Xavier Watts, the 2023 Bronco Nagurski Award winner (nation’s top defender).

O’Leary played collegiately as a wide receiver for Indiana State University from 2011-2014. He got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant with Georgia State in 2015 where he helped coach the defensive line under then-defensive coordinator Jesse Minter (now with LA). In 2018, O’Leary was hired by former Irish coach Brian Kelly as a defensive analyst.

In 2023, O’Leary’s safeties helped the Irish defense become one of the top units against the pass in the country. They ended their last season first in pass defense efficiency and second in red zone defense.

With the addition of O’Leary, the Chargers defensive staff should be about wrapped up. Harbaugh did not employ an edge rushers coach similar to Brandon Staley while at Michigan.

Here’s where they’re at as of now:

  • Defensive Coordinator - Jesse Minter
  • Mike Elston - Defensive Line
  • NaVorro Bowman - Linebackers
  • Steve Clinkscale - Cornerbacks
  • Chris O’Leary - Safeties