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Notre Dame Football: Irish hire Tommy Rees as QB coach

By Alex Butler

Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Former quarterback Tommy Rees is coming back to Notre Dame.

But he's not returning to throw passes in South Bend. Rees took the quarterbacks coach job Wednesday for the Fighting Irish. The 2013 graduate was a three-year starter at the school

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""When I finished my playing career and graduated from Notre Dame, I wanted to do two things," Rees said in a release from Notre Dame. "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."

Rees went 23-8 for the Irish, passing for 7,670 yards and 61 touchdowns. He is in the top-5 in 21 Notre Dame passing statistics.

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"I'm very excited to have Tom join our staff," Irish head coach Brian Kelly said in a release. "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."

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"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 coached as an offensive graduate assistant in 2015 at Northwestern. He served as a San Diego Chargers offensive assistant in 2016. Mike Sanford held the position at Notre Dame in 2015, before he took the head coaching job at Western Kentucky.

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Notre Dame went 4-8 last season, despite having DeShone Kizer, one of college football's top quarterbacks. Rees will be tasked with grooming Brandon Wimbush to take over for Kizer. The sophomore completed 3-of-5 passes for 17 yards last season while rushing for 96 yards and a touchdown on seven carries.

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