Tommy Rees named Notre Dame QB coach

The University of Notre Dame football team is proud to welcome back a familiar face to its team.

After spending a year as an offensive assistant with the Chargers, former Notre Dame QB Tommy Rees is heading back to his alma mater. Prior to joining the Chargers, Rees was a graduate assistant for Northwestern in 2015. He will take over duties previously held by Mike Sanford, who became the head coach at Western Kentucky not too long ago.

“When I finished my playing career and graduated from Notre Dame, I wanted to do two things,” said Rees. “First, I wanted to coach, and second, at some point in my career I hoped to get an opportunity to return and do it at my alma mater. I didn’t know when or if this opportunity might present itself, but I’m so grateful and honored that it did. I’m ready to get things rolling with this great staff and group of student-athletes.”

Rees finished his Notre Dame career as one of the most prolific quarterbacks in school history. He ranks in the top five in school history in 21 different single-game, single-season or career passing categories. Rees went 23-8 (.733) as the Irish starting quarterback over his career. His 23 victories as the starting signal caller are the seventh-most in school history. He threw for 7,670 career yards and 61 touchdowns. Only one quarterback has ever collected more touchdown passes than Rees, while just two have thrown for more yards.

Rees worked with a Chargers offense that ranked tied for seventh in the NFL in passing (262.4), ninth in scoring (25.6), T-12th in yards/play (5.6) and 14th in total offense (356.8). During his time spent at Northwestern, Rees worked with redshirt freshman QB Clayton Thorson, who became the first quarterback in school history to lead the Wildcats to 10 wins in his first season as a starter.

“As a former quarterback at Notre Dame, Tom also has a rare ability to truly relate with the quarterbacks on our roster,” Kelly said in a statement. “He’s literally sat in their seat, dealt with the ups and downs, faced the criticism, and deflected the praise and all that comes with playing the position at Notre Dame. He can genuinely mentor them — not only on the football field, but in the classroom and the community as well.”

In addition to Rees’ hiring, the Irish hired offensive coordinator Chip Long, defensive coordinator Mike Elko, special teams coordinator Brian Polian, receivers coach DelVaughn Alexander, linebackers coach Clark Lea and football performance director Matt Balis.

This was the last and final coaching hire for the Irish after a brutal 4-8 season.

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