Just a week after former Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien left to take the same position for the New England Patriots, Nick Saban has found his replacement in Notre Dame offensive coordinator Tommy Rees.
Rees, 30, was the quarterback for Notre Dame from 2010-2013 and got his coaching start as a graduate assistant at Northwestern in 2015. The following season, he became an offensive assistant with the San Diego Chargers before returning to his alma mater.
Rees became Notre Dame’s quarterback coach from 2017-2019 before getting promoted to offensive coordinator, where he has served over the past three seasons. Notre Dame’s offense finished ranked 41st nationally in scoring offense last season under Rees, averaging 31.8 points per game, as well as ranking 60th in the nation in total offense averaging 396.2 yards per game.
Notre Dame’s winningest quarterback in program history, Ian Book, had great success thanks to the developmental role that Rees played. In 2018, Book’s first season at quarterback, Rees was named the Quarterbacks Coach of the Year by FootballScoop. Under Rees’ tutelage, Book finished in the top 10 of the 2020 Heisman Trophy voting, completing 64.6% of his passes for 2,830 yards and 15 touchdowns, adding 485 rushing yards.
In the 2021 season, Rees helped Jack Coan throw for 3,150 yards and 25 touchdowns with seven interceptions. Coan also set a Notre Dame bowl record with 509 passing yards against Oklahoma State in the 2022 Fiesta Bowl, becoming just the second Notre Dame quarterback to throw for over 500 yards in a game.
While Notre Dame and Alabama have two completely different types of rosters, it is tough to tell what type of offensive scheme Rees will bring to the Crimson Tide offense, but while at Notre Dame, he heavily involved the tight ends and leaned on a strong running game.
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