Grad transfer QB Jack Coan throws 4 touchdowns in Notre Dame football debut

By John Fineran
Tribune Correspondent

It didn't take long for graduate transfer Jack Coan to make Notre Dame football fans happy.

The former Wisconsin QB was 4-of-4 passing on the Fighting Irish's opening drive of the 2021 season against Florida State. His passes went for 87 yards, capped by a fourth-down, 41-yard touchdown pass to tight end Michael Mayer. 

Coan completed 26-of-35 passes for 366 yards and four touchdowns. He also had one interception on a Hail Mary at the end of regulation.

Coan made his first start for the Irish Sunday night.  He is the first ND QB to make his first start for the Irish as a senior since Eric Chappell in 1998.  

► More:Brian Kelly names Jack Coan as Notre Dame's starting quarterback

► More:Previewing No. 9 Notre Dame at Florida State Sunday

Chappell didn’t fare well and finished with a minus-133.33 pass efficiency rating in No. 9 ND’s 10-0 loss to the No. 10 USC Trojans.  

Quarterback Jack Coan has been the picture of consistency since being named the starter at Notre Dame, per head coach Brian Kelly.

For (senior) Starters 

Here are senior quarterbacks to make their first start for the Irish since 1975 (pass-efficiency rating in parentheses): 

Eric Chappell, senior; Nov. 28, 1998 

The Bottom Line: USC 10, No. 9 Notre Dame 0 

Stats: 0-3-2, 0 yards, 0 TDs (minus-133.33); 33 yards on 7 carries 

Jarious Jackson, senior; Sept. 5, 1998 

The Bottom Line: No. 22 Notre Dame 36, No. 5 Michigan 20 

Stats: 4-10-1, 96 yards, 2 TDs (166.64); 62 yards on 16 carries 

Kevin McDougal, senior; Sept. 4, 1993 

The Bottom Line: No. 7 Notre Dame 27, Northwestern 12 

Stats: 6-8-0, 135 yards, 0 TDs (216.75); minus-16 yards on 5 carries 

Note: McDougal led the Irish to No. 1 after beating top-ranked Florida State. Ultimately Notre Dame finished 11-1 and finished No. 2 in the final polls.  

Scott Grooms, senior; Oct. 13, 1984 

The Bottom Line: Air Force 21, Notre Dame 7 

Stats: 12-35-1, 117 yards, 1 TD (66.08); minus-9 yards on 12 carries 

Jim O'Hara, senior; Nov. 20, 1982 

The Bottom Line: Air Force 30, No. 18 Notre Dame 17 

Stats: 14-23-0, 216 yards, 2 TDs (168.45); minus-21 yards on 3 carries 

Rick Slager, senior; Sept. 15, 1975 

 The Bottom Line: No. 9 Notre Dame 17, Boston College 3 

Stats: 7-12-0, 72 yards, 0 TDs (108.73); no rushing attempts 

Jack Coan’s football journey from New York, to Wisconsin to South Bend

The 6-foot-3, 223-pound grad transfer from Wisconsin played 25 games over three seasons for the Badgers posting a 12-6 record as a starter.  

For his career in Madison he completed 25 games (12-6 starter) 297-of-437 (68.0%) for 3,278 yards, 23 TDs, 8 INTs. His last game for the Badgers was a 28-27 loss to Oregon in the 2019 Rose Bowl. 

At Wisconsin 

♦ 2020 — Did not play (surgery after preseason foot injury) 

♦ 2019 — Started all 14 games (10-4) … 236-of-339 (69.6%) for 18 TDs with 5 INTs  

♦ 2018 — Five games, four starts (2-2) … 56-of-93 (60.2%) for 515 yards and 2 TDs 

♦ 2017 — Six games … 5-of-5 for 36 yards 

In High School 

♦ Four-year starter at quarterback for Sayville High School on Long Island 

♦ Four-star prospect by Rivals, three-star prospect 247 Sports, ESPN, Scout 

♦ Holds Long Island record for passing yards (9,787), TD passes (128), rushing yards by QB (2,551) and rushing TDs by QB (33) 

♦ Three-time all-state selection  

♦ Played lacrosse and was offered a scholarship to Notre Dame 

Sep 5, 2021; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Jack Coan (17) throws the ball during the second quarter against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak S. Campbell Stadium.