Tommy Rees – University of Notre Dame

FootballScoop is proud to announce that Tommy Rees is the 2018 FootballScoop Quarterbacks Coach of the Year presented by AstroTurf as selected by prior winners.

Playing quarterback at Notre Dame is a unique set of pressures, and no one can help the current crop of Fighting Irish quarterbacks quite like a former Fighting Irish quarterback.

Notre Dame opened the year with Brandon Wimbush, a dual threat senior, as its starting quarterback. Wimbush led the Irish to wins over Michigan, Ball State and Vanderbilt, but the offense wasn’t clicking on all cylinders.

The Irish then made a mid-season switch to junior Ian Book, a pocket passer, and the Notre Dame attack immediately clicked. Book completed 25-of-34 passes for 325 yards and two touchdowns in his first start of 2018, a 56-27 drubbing at Wake Forest, then threw for 278 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-7 blowout of Stanford a week later.

Book threw for at least 260 yards and multiple touchdowns in each of Notre Dame’s next four games — all wins — but had to the Irish Nov. 10 game with Florida State.

Rees helped Wimbush remain ready, and after six games off he slid back into the starting lineup and led Notre Dame to another blowout win, tallying 198 total yards and three touchdowns in a 42-13 defeat of Florida State.

Book returned to the starting lineup a week later, throwing for 292 yards and two touchdowns in a 36-3 win over Syracuse and tossing for 352 yards and two scores in a 24-17 win at USC.

For the year, Book hit 197-of-280 passes (70.4 percent) for 2,468 yards (8.8 per attempt) with 19 touchdowns against six interceptions; he tossed multiple touchdown passes in all eight of his starts, and his 162.50 efficiency rating ranks eighth nationally. Wimbush connected on 54-of-102 throws (52.9 percent) for 719 yards with four touchdowns and six interceptions while rushing 68 times for 256 yards and one score.

Thanks to the efforts of both quarterbacks, Notre Dame completed a 12-0 regular season and will face Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinals at the Cotton Bowl. Clemson, Alabama and Oklahoma will both start former 5-star recruits under center, while Book was rated a 3-star recruit and the 20th-best pro-style quarterback in the Class of 2016.

 

A former Notre Dame quarterback himself, Rees jumped into coaching as a graduate assistant at Northwestern in 2015. After a season in Evanston, Rees spent 2016 as an offensive assistant with the San Diego Chargers, working primarily with the wide receivers. He returned to his alma mater in 2017 as quarterbacks coach.

“The evolution of a quarterback (coach) is not about what he knows on the board, but what he can get his player to do consistently, and I think that’s what you’re seeing (with Tommy),” Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said in September.

The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by AstroTurf are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. The finalists (Tim Beck [Texas], Kendal Briles [Houston], Ryan Day [Ohio State], Dan Enos [Alabama], Brandon Streeter [Clemson] and Rees) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year’s winner.

Rees will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.

Previous winners of the Quarterbacks Coach of the Year award are Josh Heupel (Oklahoma, 2008), Tom Rossley (Texas A&M, 2009), Mark Helfrich (Oregon, 2010 and 2012), Philip Montgomery (Baylor, 2011), Randy Sanders (Florida State, 2013), Kevin McGiven (Utah State, 2014), Mike Sanford (Notre Dame, 2015), Tyson Helton (USC, 2016) and Jim Chaney (Georgia, 2017).

keystats

8th Nationally – QB Rating           2 starters won 4+ games
12-0 regular season           CFP semifinalists

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National columnist - Zach joined the staff in 2012...and has been attempting to improve Doug and Scott's writing ability ever since (to little avail). Outside of football season, you can find him watching the San Antonio Spurs reading Game of Thrones fan theories.