View the original article to see embedded media.
Notre Dame’s Tommy Rees will be leaving South Bend to become Nick Saban’s new offensive coordinator at Alabama, sources tell Sports Illustrated‘s Ross Dellenger.
News of the Crimson Tide targeting Rees was first reported by ESPN’s Chris Low on Thursday afternoon. Rees replaces Bill O’Brien, who became the offensive coordinator for the Patriots last week.
The 30-year-old Rees leaves his alma mater after serving on the coaching staff in various roles since 2017. Rees began as Notre Dame’s quarterbacks coach under Brian Kelly, and was later promoted to offensive coordinator when Kelly moved on from Chip Long following the ’19 season.
Rees reportedly had an offer in hand to leave Notre Dame at the end of last season to join Kelly as his offensive coordinator at LSU. The position would have made Rees the highest-paid coordinator in the SEC. Instead, Rees turned down the position under Kelly and elected to remain in South Bend to coach under Marcus Freeman.
Notre Dame gave Rees a pay raise last season in the neighborhood of $2 million per year, according to Football Scoop. However, when Saban comes calling, it’s a tough offer to pass up.
If Rees has aspirations to become a head coach, a move to Alabama under arguably the greatest college football coach in history makes a ton of sense. Rees is one of the rising stars in the college coaching profession, and could have certainly earn a head coaching job in the future if he stayed at Notre Dame.
However, the move for Rees to Saban’s staff at Alabama could expedite the timeline for him to become a head coach given Saban’s propensity for his coordinators being hired away from the school for promotions on a near-annual basis.
The Irish scored 32 points per game last season under Rees, good for 41st nationally, as the program was led for most of the season by backup quarterback Drew Pyne. Rees’s best offense at South Bend was in ’21, when Notre Dame had a top-20 offense scoring a shade over 35 points per contest.