Ready to feel old?
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly announced the hire of his new offensive coordinator on Tuesday, and it’s a guy you’ll remember wearing a Fighting Irish uniform not too long ago. That man is 27-year-old Tommy Rees, who you’ll recall as the quarterback in South Bend from 2010 to 2013.
Rees spent the last three seasons as Notre Dame’s quarterbacks coach. Once the regular season ended, Kelly opted not to bring back offensive coordinator Chip Long, who he hired away from Memphis ahead of the 2017 season. Rees served as the interim coordinator during the Irish’s 33-9 win over Iowa State in the Camping World Bowl on Dec. 28. A few weeks later, Kelly decided Rees was the man for the job.
“After an extensive national search, I’m proud to name Tom Rees our next offensive coordinator,” Kelly said. “Tom’s ability to connect with our players and staff and accepting and embracing the incredible opportunity in being the offensive coordinator at Notre Dame made him the right choice. While Tom’s leadership ability and knowledge of the game was evident, it was his humble approach to his own development and desire to continue to grow and learn that were also key factors that set him apart in a talented pool of candidates.”
Rees played in 45 games at Notre Dame, starting 30 of them. He started four games in 2010 as a true freshman before being named the starter in 2011. That season, he threw for 2,871 yards, 20 touchdowns and 14 interceptions while completing 65.5 percent of his throws. However, he would lose the starting job to Everett Golson in 2012 — the season where the Irish advanced to the BCS title game and lost to Alabama.
When Golson was suspended for the 2013 season, Rees regained his starting role and led the team to a 9-4 record. Rees finished his college career with 7.351 yards, 61 touchdowns and 37 interceptions on 59.9 percent throwing. Rees ranks third in program history in passing yards and second in passing touchdowns.
Now Rees will be in charge of an offense that brings back quarterback Ian Book for his redshirt senior season. The Irish went 11-2 in 2019, its third-straight season with at least 10 wins.
In addition to Rees, Kelly also promoted running backs coach Lance Taylor to run game coordinator. Before arriving in South Bend before the 2019 season, Taylor had stints as an assistant in both college and the NFL. His stops included Stanford and App State in college and the New York Jets and Carolina Panthers in the NFL.
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