News first broke Saturday afternoon when sources said Byrne and Harvard were negotiating a deal and that both sides were confident a deal could be struck. Byrne sent a message to Notre Dame players later that night, according to Inside Lacrosse’s Ty Xanders, who first reported it.
Byrne was Harvard’s top candidate since the school parted ways with former head coach Chris Wojcik back in early May. Byrne also was a candidate for the Crimson job when it was last vacant back in 2012 before he withdrew his name. Other candidates included Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese, Virginia assistant Sean Kirwan, Amherst head coach Jon Thompson, former Navy head coach Rick Sowell, and Boston University head coach Ryan Polley. Polley signed another long-term contract extension with BU on Friday.
Prior to his second stint in South Bend, Byrne was the head coach of Division II Saint Anselm from 2003 until 2006.
Byrne takes over a Harvard team that went 5-8 in 2019. But the Crimson return their top 13 scorers, as well as defenseman Beau Botkiss and goalie Kyle Mullin.
This will be Notre Dame’s second full-time assistant leaving the program in as many seasons. Last year, Matt Karweck left to become the head coach of the Colgate Raiders. Neil Hutchinson took over as offensive coordinator this season.
Bellarmine and Hampton are the only two Division I schools in need of new head coaches. According to multiple sources, Bellarmine will not have any new scholarships for the next two seasons due to errors in scholarship package distribution from previous coaching staffs. That, along with the school’s announcement of going Division I in all sports, has pushed the search back. Hampton’s Lloyd Carter will officially retire on Sunday.
Drexel, Fairfield, Hobart, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Stony Brook, and Towson are reportedly looking for new assistant coaches. Stony Brook is looking for assistants on both sides of the ball.