Hiestand back with Chicago Bears as O-line coach

 
 
Updated 1/10/2018 9:20 PM
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  • Photo courtesy of irishsportsdaily.comHarry Hiestand is leaving Notre Dame and returning to the Chicago Bears' as Matt Nagy's offensive line coach.

    Photo courtesy of irishsportsdaily.comHarry Hiestand is leaving Notre Dame and returning to the Chicago Bears' as Matt Nagy's offensive line coach.

Matt Nagy's first hire as Chicago Bears head coach is offensive line coach Harry Hiestand, who served the team in the same capacity (2005-09) during the Lovie Smith regime.

For the past six years, Hiestand has been Notre Dame's offensive line coach and since 2013 the Irish have produced four offensive linemen who were drafted in the first three rounds, including first-rounders Zach Martin and Ronnie Stanley.

They could send two more first-round O-linemen to the NFL this year in Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson.

Hiestand, 59, reportedly was coveted by at least three other NFL teams in addition to the Bears.

NFL Network analyst and draft guru Mike Mayock is a big fan of Hiestand and said on Twitter: "Have been around a lot of coaches in my life and Harry Hiestand is outstanding … he buys into his OL and they buy into him … great teacher, demands a lot but he is a difference maker … ND's loss is Bear's gain."

Before to his first stint with the Bears, Hiestand spent eight season at Illinois (1997-2004), where six of his offensive linemen were drafted.

They included Oak Lawn's David Diehl (Brother Rice High School), a fifth-rounder who played 11 seasons with the New York Giants, and Palos Heights' Tony Pashos, who attended Lockport High School and played 10 seasons in the NFL.

"Harry is one of the best offensive line coaches in college football, and we are fortunate to have him on our staff," Notre Dame's head coach Brian Kelly said after hiring Hiestand following Hiestand's two years at Tennessee.

"When I was searching to fill this position, I asked some of the most respected offensive line coaches in football whom they would recommend, and Harry's name was routinely mentioned as one of the best. His history of developing NFL-caliber offensive linemen speaks for itself, and I know our linemen will learn a lot from him."

Hiestand replaces Jeremiah Washburn, who last week was hired by the Miami Dolphins as their offensive line coach.

Hiestand and his wife, Terri, have three sons, Michael, Matthew and Mark, and one daughter, Sarah.

More familiar faces:

Two more former Bears coaches are rejoining the team.

Chris Tabor will be the special-teams coordinator on coach Matt Nagy's staff, replacing Jeff Rodgers. Charles London will be the new running backs coach, replacing Curtis Modkins.

Tabor was the Bears' assistant special-teams coordinator under Dave Toub from 2008-10. For the last six seasons he has been the Cleveland Browns' special-teams coordinator.

London was an offensive quality-control coach with the Bears from 2007-09. Most recently he was the Houston Texans' running backs coach.

Catching on:

Zach Azzanni, the Bears' wide receivers coach in 2017, has been signed by the Denver Broncos for the same position. Last season was Azzanni's first in the NFL after 18 years as a college coach.

Canadian import:

Defensive back Jonathon Mincy of the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League has been signed to a reserve/future contract.

Mincy spent the past two seasons with the Alouettes, winning the team's most outstanding rookie award in 2016.

In his two years in the CFL, Mincy played in 32 games, totaling 108 tackles, 3 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles.

As an undrafted rookie free agent out of Auburn, he spent time with the Atlanta Falcons in 2015 but was released before the season.

• Follow Bob's Bears reports on Twitter @BobLeGere.

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