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Alabama targets Notre Dame’s Tommy Rees as offensive coordinator to replace Bill O’Brien, reports say

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NCAA Football: Notre Dame Spring Game

Alabama targets Notre Dame’s Tommy


Nick Saban is focusing on Notre Dame offensive coordinator Tommy Rees as a prime target to fill the same role at Alabama, according to multiple reports. Rees is expected to be in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on Thursday.

Saban is looking for a new player after Bill O’Brien left the program this offseason for the same position with the New England Patriots, although O’Brien was not to be retained anyway. Saban has been looking for a fifth offensive coordinator since Lane Kiffin left to coach the FAU ahead of the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship.

At 30, Rees would be Saban’s youngest coordinator since Will Muschamp assumed the role for LSU in 2002. Rees was Notre Dame’s 2017-19 quarterbacks coach under former coach Brian Kelly and added the offensive coordinator role in 2020. A Notre Dame quarterback from 2010-13, he never held a full-time assistant coaching position in another program, but served as a member of the Chargers offensive staff from San Diego in 2016.

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The Fighting Irish offense has thrived under Rees ahead of a 2022 season that was hampered by a Week 2 injury to starting quarterback Tyler Buchner. In the other two years under Rees, the Irish averaged at least six yards per play. Last year, Rees oversaw an offensive switch from Buchner to Drew Pyne at quarterback while focusing on a rushing approach .

The news that Rees is being targeted by Saban comes just two days after Washington offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb reportedly turned down the job to return to the Huskies. Grubb helped quarterback Michael Penix Jr. become the nation’s leading passer last season with 357 yards per game.

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