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Defensive coordinator will coach Dec. 28 game

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame football players voted
Wednesday to play in the Insight Bowl with defensive coordinator
Kent Baer serving as interim coach.

Baer, who has been mentioned as a coaching candidate at his alma
mater Utah State, had been the longest serving coach under Tyrone
Willingham, who was fired Tuesday.

The school said the rest of the coaching staff would remain in
place through the bowl game.

The players voted on the bowl because school officials
said they didn't want the team going unless they were sure their
hearts were in it.

"I think definitely there are some teammates who are angry at
the decision (to fire Willingham) who think coach wasn't given a
fair opportunity," offensive tackle Ryan Harris said.

Shawn Schoeffler, vice president of the Insight Bowl, said
before the vote was announced that he expected the Irish to play,
noting it would be unprecedented for a team to withdraw from a
bowl.

"We haven't even talked about that yet because we plan on them
being here," he said.

Irish players who met with the media on Wednesday before they
voted said they wanted to play.

"I don't know why you wouldn't want to play another game, face
another challenge," quarterback Brady Quinn said. "That's why
we're here."

Notre Dame will likely face a Pac-10 team in the Dec. 28 game in
Phoenix.