Alabama hires Notre Dame's Tommy Rees as its offensive coordinator
Wyatt Fulton • 2/4/2023 in Football
Tommy Rees replaces Bill O'Brien, who left for the NFL
Alabama coach Nick Saban was tasked this offseason with replacing both of his coordinators for the first time since the ending of the 2018 season. Saban found his replacement on the offensive side with the hire of Notre Dame's Tommy Rees, 10 days after Bill O’Brien left for the New England Patriots, Saban found his replacement.
Rees has been with the Fighting Irish since 2017, first serving as their quarterbacks coach before being promoted to offensive coordinator in 2020.
In 2020 and 2021, Rees’s offenses averaged six yards or more per play.
Rees also coached one of the top tight ends in college football in 2022, with Michael Mayer projected to be a first-round NFL draft pick following a career that included 2,099 receiving yards and 18 receiving touchdowns for the Fighting Irish.
O’Brien did not receive a contract extension prior to making his return in Foxborough, where he has taken the offensive coordinator job with the New England Patriots.
Saban is still looking for a replacement for defensive coordinator Pete Golding, who left Tuscaloosa for the same position at Ole Miss.
After the 2018 season, Saban had to replace offensive coordinator Mike Locksley as well as defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi.
Locksley took the head coach job for the Maryland Terrapins, where he is still at today; meanwhile Lupoi took the job of the Cleveland Browns defensive line coach.
Lupoi also had brief stints with Atlanta Falcons (defensive line coach and run game coordinator) and Jacksonville Jaguars (defensive line coach) before returning to college football in 2022 as the defensive coordinator for Oregon.
Notre Dame's offensive rankings under Rees
Notre Dame’s offense averaged 31.8 points per game and 396.2 yards per game in 2022 under Rees, ranking 33rd and 52nd, respectively, in the nation.
This came with the Fighting Irish losing their starting QB Tyler Buchner in week two and having to shift the offensive approach once backup quarterback Drew Pyne took the reins. The Irish averaged 5.8 yards per play, ranking 44th.
Notre Dame ranked 44th in yards per rush with 4.6, while ranking 32nd in rushing yards per game with 189.
The Irish had 207.2 passing yards per-game, ranking 92nd in the country, with a QB sack percentage of 5.85%, ranking 56th in the country.