UND Staff

Brian Polian

Associate Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator

phone 631-7475

The Polian File

Hometown Buffalo, New York
College John Carroll University (History, 1997)
Wife Laura
Children Aidan and Charlotte

Playing Experience

1993-96 John Carroll Linebacker

Coaching Career

1997 Michigan State Graduate Assistant (Offense)
1998 Buffalo Tight Ends/Assistant Offensive Line
1999 Baylor Graduate Assistant (Defense, Special Teams)
2000 Baylor Graduate Assistant (Defense, Special Teams)
2001 Buffalo Running Backs/Special Teams Coordinator
2002 Buffalo Running Backs/Special Teams Coordinator
2003 Buffalo Running Backs/Special Teams Coordinator
2004 UCF Running Backs/Recruiting Coordinator
2005 Notre Dame Head Special Teams Coach/Defensive Backs Assistant
2006 Notre Dame Head Special Teams Coach/Linebackers Assistant
2007 Notre Dame Inside Linebackers/Special Teams
2008 Notre Dame Special Teams Coordinator
2009 Notre Dame Special Teams Coordinator
2010 Stanford Special Teams Coordinator/Safeties
2011 Stanford Special Teams Coordinator/Recruiting Coordinator/Safeties
2012 Texas A&M Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends
2013 Nevada Head Coach
2014 Nevada Head Coach
2015 Nevada Head Coach
2016 Nevada Head Coach
2017-2020 Notre Dame Special Teams Coordinator/Recruiting Coordinator
2021- Notre Dame Associate Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator

Bowls Coached

1996 Aloha Bowl
2005 Fiesta Bowl
2006 Sugar Bowl
2008 Hawai’i Bowl
2010 Orange Bowl
2011 Fiesta Bowl
2012 Cotton Bowl
2014 New Orleans Bowl
2015 Arizona Bowl
2017 Citrus Bowl
2018 Cotton Bowl (CFP Semifinal)
2019 Camping World Bowl
2021 Rose Bowl (CFP Semifinal)



  • Four-year letterwinner at linebacker for John Carroll from 1993-96
  • Father, Bill, was the general manager and architect of the Super Bowl teams of the Buffalo Bills in the 1990s and later, as the team’s president, oversaw the Indianapolis Colts’ two Super Bowl appearances and their championship in 2006
  • Father, Bill, enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015


  • Promoted to associate head coach prior to the 2021 season
  • Fourth season as the Irish recruiting coordinator and special teams coordinator in 2020
  • Spearheaded Irish recruiting effort that brought in 12 total all-star game selections in 2020 between the Under Armour All-American Game, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and the Polynesian Bowl
  • Also led Irish recruiting effort that brought in a consensus top-10 class in 2018
  • Mentored junior kicker Jonathan Doerer to a standout season in 2019
  • Doerer was a perfect 57-for-57 on PATs while going 17-for-20 on field goals with a pair of makes from beyond 50 yards
  • Doerer scored 108 points on the year, the most prolific scoring season by a kicker in school history
  • Doerer became the first kicker in school history and just the sixth player at Notre Dame to have a 100-plus point season
  • Doerer as just the second kicker in program history to connect on every PAT while attempting 50 or more extra points
  • Coached 2018 graduate punter Tyler Newsome and 2018 senior place kicker Justin Yoon to record-setting careers
  • Newsome averaged 44.7 yards per punt average in 2018 on 53 punts, including 19 punts of at least 50 yards and 19 that pinned the opposition inside the 20-yard line
  • Newsome shattered the Notre Dame record for single-game punting average against Vanderbilt (Sept. 15), with five boots averaging 59.6 yards (all five punts were over 50 yards and three exceeded 60 yards), two inside the 20-yard line and a 63-yard punt late in the fourth quarter to help clinch the win
  • Newsome owns four of the top-eight single-season punting averages in school history
  • Newsome’s 44.0 career punting average ranks second in school history (Craig Hentrich holds the school record of 44.1)
  • Yoon, Notre Dame’s all-time leading scorer, connected on 17 of 21 field goals and 41 of 43 point-after attempts in the 2018 season.
  • Yoon also owns the school record for career field goals made (59)
  • First season as the Irish special teams coordinator in 2017
  • Worked with special teams, defensive backs and linebackers in his first stint at Notre Dame (2005-09)
  • Spent the last four years as the head coach at Nevada (2013-16)
  • Led the Wolf Pack to consecutive bowl games in 2014 and 2015, including a victory in the inaugural ‘15 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl — Nevada’s fifth bowl win in school history
  • Guided Nevada to 22 wins, 26 individual All-Mountain West honors and unprecedented academic honors
  • Nevada posted a 7-6 overall record with a 4-4 mark in Mountain West play in 2015, marking consecutive seasons he led the Wolf Pack to a winning record
  • Nevada used a lethal ground-and-pound offense in ‘15, as James Butler and Don Jackson each eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing (the Wolf Pack were one of just three teams in the nation with a pair of 1,000-yard rushers)
  • Turned the tide from year one to year two of his tenure as the program reached new heights on and off the field in 2014
  • Registered a 7-6 record and returned to a bowl game, playing in the 2014 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
  • The Wolf Pack defeated Pac-12 foe Washington State, scored impressive road wins at BYU, Hawaii and San Jose State, and capped the regular season with a dominating win at UNLV
  • Helped nine student-athletes earn 2014 All-Mountain West honors, including Cody Fajardo, who became just the second player in NCAA history to pass for 9,000 yards and rush for 3,000 yards in a career
  • Selected to represent the Mountain West Conference on the inaugural College Football Officiating Competition Committee in June of 2015
  • Came to Nevada after a year as the special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at Texas A&M, which capped an 11-2 season in 2012 with a win over Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl and an historic Heisman Trophy for then-freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel
  • Two-year run with Stanford (2010-11) was marked by a pair of BCS bowl appearances and two of the top recruiting classes in school history
  • Served as the special teams coordinator and recruiting coordinator while also coaching the safeties with the Cardinal
  • Earned a number of honors as one of the top recruiters in the country during his first tenure at Notre Dame
  • Nominee for the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Assistant Coach of the Year in 2008
  • Coached Irish special teams units that set a number of school records and Notre Dame went to a pair of BCS bowl games
  • Guided the Notre Dame kickoff return defense to a nation leading 16.47 yards per return in 2008 — even more impressive when you consider the figure came on 59 kickoff return attempts
  • Only one FBS school since 2003 has posted a better kickoff return defense with at least 59 kickoff return attempts
  • Owns an impressive football pedigree that also includes coaching stops at UCF, Buffalo, Baylor and Michigan State as part of a 21-year career.
  • Worked as a graduate assistant for Nick Saban at Michigan State (1997) and then spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Baylor (1999-2000)

Dynamic Disciples

OL Joel Bitonio (Nevada)

  • 2014  NFL Draft Second Round pick (Cleveland Browns)
  • 2014  NFL First Team All-Pro

LB Manti Te’o (Notre Dame)

  • 2013 NFL Draft Second Round pick (San Diego Chargers)
  • 2012 Walter Camp Player of the Year
  • 2012 Heisman Trophy runner-up
  • 2012 Butkus, Nagurski, Lombardi, Bednarik, Lott Maxwell Awards
  • 2012 Unanimous All-American

S Tom Zbikowski (Notre Dame)

  • 2008 NFL Draft Third Round pick (Baltimore Ravens)
  • Tied for most punt returns for touchdown in Notre Dame history
  • Two-time AP Third Team All-American (2005, 2006)

LS J.J. Jansen (Notre Dame)

  • 10-year NFL veteran
  • 2013 NFL Pro Bowl selection
  • Three-year long snapper at Notre Dame

P Geoff Price (Notre Dame)

  • Notre Dame’s single-season leader for best punting average and second in career punting average

RB Alex Haynes (UCF)

  • UCF’s all-time leading rusher