Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Rees Returns To Coach Irish Quarterbacks

Jan. 24, 2017

NOTRE DAME, Indiana – Tom Rees, a 2013 Notre Dame graduate and three-year starting quarterback for the Fighting Irish, has returned to his alma mater as quarterbacks coach.

“When I finished my playing career and graduated from Notre Dame, I wanted to do two things,” said Rees. “First, I wanted to coach, and second, at some point in my career I hoped to get an opportunity to return and do it at my alma mater. I didn’t know when or if this opportunity might present itself, but I’m so grateful and honored that it did. I’m ready to get things rolling with this great staff and group of student-athletes.”

“I’m very excited to have Tom join our staff,” said Irish head coach Brian Kelly. “He possesses an understanding of the game, and most importantly the quarterback position, that’s unique. He’s a true student of the game and great communicator that will offer immediate dividends toward guiding our quarterback room.

“As a former quarterback at Notre Dame, Tom also has a rare ability to truly relate with the quarterbacks on our roster. He’s literally sat in their seat, dealt with the ups and downs, faced the criticism, deflected the praise, and all that comes with playing the position at Notre Dame. He can genuinely mentor them — not only on the football field, but in the classroom and the community as well.”

Rees finished his Notre Dame career as one of the most prolific quarterbacks in school history. He ranks in the top five in school history in 21 different single-game, single-season or career passing categories. Rees went went 23-8 (.733) as the Irish starting quarterback over his career. His 23 victories as the starting signal caller are the seventh-most in school history. He threw for 7,670 career yards and 61 touchdowns. Only one quarterback has ever collected more touchdown passes than Rees, while just two have thrown for more yards.

As a senior in 2013, Rees was named Notre Dame Offensive Player of the Year. He threw for 3,257 yards and 27 touchdowns that season. Rees was the third signal caller in school history to eclipse the 3,000-yard passing mark in a season and only three Irish quarterbacks have ever registered more touchdown passes in a year. He ranked 11th in the FBS in passing yards per completion (14.54), 19th in passing touchdowns (27), 24th in passing yards (3,257), t-35th in point responsibility (162), t-45th in point responsibility/game (12.5) and 30th in passing yards/game (250.5). He recorded five 300-yard passing games, which is tied for the second-most in single-season school history.

Rees returns to his alma mater following one season as an offensive assistant with the San Diego Chargers. He worked with a Chargers offense that ranked tied for seventh in the NFL in passing (262.4), ninth in scoring (25.6), t-12th in yards/play (5.6) and 14th in total offense (356.8). San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers threw for 4,386 yards and 33 TDs, which ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, in the NFL this past season. Rivers also finished second in the NFL with 16 completions of at least 40 yards.

Rees broke into the coaching ranks in 2015 at Northwestern, where he served as an offensive graduate assistant. The Wildcats went 10-3 and finished the year ranked No. 23 in the final Associated Press poll. Rees aided Northwestern redshirt freshman quarterback Clayton Thorson, who became the first quarterback in school history to lead the Wildcats to 10 wins in his first season as a starter. A dual-threat, Thorson not only passed for 1,522 yards and seven TDs, but also ran for 397 yards and a team-best five TDs.

A native of Lake Bluff, Illinois, Rees earned his bachelor’s degree in management consulting from Notre Dame in 2013.

The Rees File
Hometown Lake Bluff, Illinois
College Notre Dame (B.A., Management Consulting, 2013)
Playing Career
2010-13 Notre Dame Quarterback
Coaching Career
2015 Northwestern Graduate Assistant (Offense)
2016 San Diego Chargers Offensive Assistant
Bowls Played
2010 Sun Bowl
2011 Champs Sports Bowl
2012 BCS National Championship
2013 Pinstripe Bowl
Bowls Coached
2015 Outback Bowl

Michael Bertsch, director of football media relations at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2006. An Akron, Ohio, native, he graduated from Walsh University (Ohio) in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in communications and also received his master’s degree in health and physical education with an emphasis in sports administration from Marshall University in 2001.

— ND —