SOUTH BEND — Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly announced Tuesday that Tommy Rees will be the new Fighting Irish offensive coordinator and running backs coach Lance Taylor has been promoted to run game coordinator.
This follows a similar path Notre Dame took in planning for its Camping World Bowl victory over Iowa State. Following the firing of offensive coordinator Chip Long, Rees was made passing game coordinator and Taylor running game coordinator. Rees then was allowed to call plays for the Irish during a 33-9 win against the Cyclones. The offense put up 455 yards of total offense, with 247 coming through the air and 208 on the ground.
“After an extensive national search, I’m proud to name Tom Rees our next offensive coordinator,” Kelly said in a press release. “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 has been the quarterbacks coach at Notre Dame since the 2017 season. Prior to coming back to South Bend, Rees spent time as an offensive grad assistant at Northwestern (2015) and an offensive assistant with the NFL’s then San Diego Chargers (2016).
Returning quarterback Ian Book expressed his approval of the Rees promotion on Twitter.
“Let’s go! Excited to get back to work,” Book tweeted.
Rees was the starting quarterback for the Irish under Kelly from 2010-13 He went 23-8 in starts and appeared in 43 total games in his four years as a player in South Bend. He threw for 7,670 yards and 61 touchdowns in his career.
Taylor was hired last season to be the Irish’s running backs coach. Taylor played college football at Alabama from 1999-2003 before entering the coaching ranks in 2007. His most recent stop before joining Kelly’s staff was a two-year stint as the Carolina Panthers’ wide receivers coach.
“Lance’s ability to gain consensus within the staff by implementing a running game plan that fits our personnel and is tactically and technically sound makes him a great fit for this position,” Kelly said.
JURKOVEC TO BC
A week after entering the transfer portal, former Notre Dame quarterback Phil Jurkovec will enroll at Boston College. Jurkovec was added to the Eagles’ roster Tuesday.
The school said it plans to apply for a waiver to allow Jurkovec to play immediately; Jurkovec would have three years of eligibility remaining. If denied, Jurkovec will have to sit out the 2020 season. Jurkovec already redshirted his freshman year (2018) at Notre Dame.
Boston College visits Notre Dame in 2022, which could be Jurkovec’s final season with the Eagles.