Football: Irish add three new coaches
By TIM CASEY
Assistant Sports Editor
Twelve years ago, David Lockwood was a starting cornerback for West Virginia in the 1989 Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame. The Irish claimed their 11th national championship that day with a 34-21 victory over the Mountaineers.
On Tuesday, Lockwood was once again linked with the Notre Dame program. This time, Lockwood was named as an Irish assistant coach. Lockwood, who spent the 2000 season at West Virginia, will serve as the cornerbacks coach. He replaces Jerry Rosburg, who is now the special teams coach with the Cleveland Browns.
Lockwood has spent the past few days in Orlando with the Irish coaching staff.
"It's a great opportunity to get around the guys without worrying about football," Lockwood said on the phone on Tuesday. "It's been really fun. But I'm anxious to get there and coach spring practice. It's like a dream come true."
Bill Sheridan (safeties) and Joker Phillips (wide receivers) were also officially named as assistants on Tuesday. Earlier this month, The Observer reported that that both Sheridan and Phillips would be hired but first had to pass the mandatory background checks for prospective coaches. Sheridan, the linebackers coach since 1998 at Michigan State, arrived in South Bend a few days ago while Phillips, the Minnesota wide receivers coach for the past two seasons, arrived last night. Both were unavailable for comment on Tuesday.
Lockwood interviewed with coach Bob Davie on Feb. 8 but was not offered the position until Feb. 21. In the meantime, on Feb. 16, Lockwood declined an offer to become the defensive backs coach at Syracuse.
"It was very even (between staying at West Virginia or leaving) but as it went on, I couldn't pull the trigger," Lockwood said. "I'm glad I didn't. I guess things happen for a reason."
When Davie called with an offer, Lockwood accepted immediately.
"He said, `do you need to talk to your family?' Lockwood said. "I said, `No coach, I'll take it.' It was a no-brainer."
After graduating from West Virginia, Lockwood served as a graduate assistant at his alma mater in 1989 then accepted a full-time position with Delaware in 1990. He coached Delaware's tight ends and receivers until 1993. The next season, Lockwood went to Memphis as its secondary coach. He was hired by West Virginia in March 2000. The Mountaineers finished the season with a 7-5 record, including a win over Mississippi in the Music City Bowl.
With the unexpected loss of Brock Williams, the Irish secondary will rely on several unproven players in 2001. Regardless, Lockwood plans on implementing mostly man-to-man coverage.
"I'm sure it will be an aggressive, attacking type defense," Lockwood said. "But I have to sit down and discuss it with the rest of the defensive staff."
All Sports Stories for Wednesday, February 28, 2001