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December 3, 2013

Martin leaves for ‘great opportunity'

Chuck Martin walked onto the runway at South Bend Regional Airport on Tuesday afternoon flanked by his family and first-year Miami of Ohio athletics director David Sayler.

After a four-year reunion in South Bend with former boss Brian Kelly at Notre Dame, the Irish offensive coordinator was leaving for his first FBS head coaching job.

Martin first interviewed for the job the day after Notre Dame's season-ending loss at Stanford, meeting with school officials in Chicago. Now he'll follow in some distinctly Irish footsteps in Oxford, the same program that once produced Ara Parseghian.

"Just a great opportunity from a head coaching standpoint," Martin told Irish Illustrated before taking off. "Great school, cradle of coaches, Ara Parseghian, Bo Schembechler, Woody Hayes, there's a lot that goes along with it."

Martin said he doesn't know if he'll stay with Notre Dame through its undetermined bowl game, although he's been in contact with Kelly during this evaluation process.

"(Kelly) has always been the same on you've gotta make decisions in the best interests of your family and think it's in the best interests of your career, even though we don't have a crystal ball on where things can take you," Martin said. "He understands making decisions in the best interests of your family is what it's always about."

On leaving Notre Dame, Martin said it will be difficult to depart a program that he grew up cheering for and helping get to the BCS National Championship Game last season. Next year's offense also could have potentially been Notre Dame's best under Kelly with Everett Golson set to return.

"It's the one place in the world that I love more than any other place in the world in college athletics," Martin said. "For me, that's the hardest part by far. I love everything about the University and my time here."

More: Recruits react to the departure of Chuck Martin

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