Report: Notre Dame to hire former Irish QB Tommy Rees as QB coach

Mike Vorel
South Bend Tribune

Tommy Rees knows the quarterback position, and he certainly knows Notre Dame.

That background could soon be put to good use, as the former Notre Dame quarterback is expected to be named the next Irish quarterbacks coach, according to a report by NBC Sports' Keith Arnold on Monday.

Rees, 24, spent the 2016 season as an offensive assistant for the San Diego Chargers. Prior to his arrival in San Diego, he was an offensive graduate assistant at Northwestern in 2015.

In his four seasons at Notre Dame (2010-13), Rees started 30 games and passed for 7,351 yards with 61 touchdowns and 37 interceptions. He was the team's starting quarterback throughout his sophomore and senior seasons, passing for 2,871 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2011 and 3,257 yards with 27 touchdowns in 2013.

A native of Lake Forest, Ill., Rees tied the Notre Dame school record for consecutive completions in a game with 14 against Maryland on Nov. 12, 2011. He’s also second in program history in single-game completions with 33.

Another opportunity at his alma mater would also mean a reunion with head coach Brian Kelly and an offense Rees masterfully digested in his four-year stint at Notre Dame from 2010 to 2013.

“I’ll be a Tommy Rees fan for life,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said following Rees' final game at Notre Dame, a 29-16 Pinstripe Bowl victory over Rutgers on Dec. 28, 2013. “He ran 90 plays in a different offense (than the Irish used throughout the rest of the 2013 season).

"He hasn’t run this offense in two years. He’s so smart."

If he does indeed make a South Bend homecoming, Rees will fill the void left by former Notre Dame offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Sanford, who left last month to become the head coach at Western Kentucky.

Rees would be Notre Dame's fifth quarterbacks coach in Kelly's seven-plus seasons in South Bend, joining Sanford, Matt LaFleur, Chuck Martin and Charley Molnar.

Rees' father, Bill Rees, is the director of player personnel at Wake Forest and spent 16 years as a college scout for the Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns.

Kelly is also expected to name Memphis offensive coordinator Chip Long to the same position at Notre Dame, though that hire has yet to be made official.

Notre Dame QB Tommy Rees, 11, is celebrates a touchdown pass with teammate Zack Martin during the game college football game between Notre Dame and Brigham Young on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend. (SBT Photo/Robert Franklin)