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Notre Dame legend to lead Charleston Southern football team as head coach

It took six weeks for Charleston Southern’s athletic director Jeff Barber to introduce a head football coach at Charleston Southern.

Barber says jokingly that he was elated when Clemson beat Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl so he could get his guy here on campus.

Barber introduced Autry Denson as head coach before setting him free to hit the ground running for signing day in two weeks.

Denson, the Notre Dame running bank legend and former running back coach, is taking a leap of faith in taking this job.

But Denson says that’s exactly why he’s doing it – to bring an air raid attack to Charleston Southern.

He’s motivated by faith and family but also wants to win big.

“I have everything I need—I really do—we have a team and a field and weights—and I want to keep tradition going. I came from a place with a lot of tradition,” he said.

Denson gained 4,318 yards and scored 43 touchdowns for the Fighting Irish from 1995-98. He spent the past four seasons as Notre Dame’s running backs coach and helped the team to a 12-0 regular season and a spot in the College Football Playoff. The Fighting Irish lost to national champion Clemson 30-3 in the Cotton Bowl.

Barber said Monday that Denson stood out as both a coach and a recruiter. Denson takes over for Mark Tucker, who went 11-11 in two seasons with the Buccaneers.

Denson was also an assistant coach at Bethune-Cookman and Miami of Ohio before joining Notre Dame’s staff.

Charleston Southern is part of the Big South Conference in the Football Championship Subdivision.

-Additional reporting from The Associated Press.

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