Kelly stays in-house: Rees named Notre Dame O-coordinator
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By JOHN FINERAN
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Tom Rees has been promoted to offensive coordinator and Lance Taylor is moving up to run game coordinator in a shuffling of the Notre Dame football staff by coach Brian Kelly.
Rees is a former quarterback for Kelly at Notre Dame and had been the quarterbacks coach the past three seasons. Taylor was promoted from his role as running backs coach, Kelly announced Tuesday.
Kelly fired offensive coordinator Chip Long in early December and let the 27-year-old Rees and 38-year-old Taylor work with offensive line coach Jeff Quinn preparing the offense for their bowl game against Iowa State on Dec. 28.
The Irish won the Camping World Bowl 33-9. Rees handled play calling in the victory to complete an 11-2 season.
"After an extensive national search, I'm proud to name Tom Rees our next offensive coordinator," Kelly said. "Tom's ability to connect with our players and staff and accepting and embracing the incredible opportunity in being the offensive coordinator at Notre Dame made him the right choice."
Notre Dame's quarterbacks have set numerous program records under Rees. Ian Book is set to return for a fifth season after joining Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts as one of two FBS quarterbacks with more than 500 yards rushing (546), 3,000 yards passing (3,034) and 30 touchdown passes (34).
Rees played quarterback at Notre Dame from 2010-14 and was 23-8 as a starter.
Taylor came to Notre Dame prior to the 2019 season after spending two seasons as wide receivers coach for the NFL's Carolina Panthers. That followed three seasons as Stanford's running backs coach, where he tutored standout Christian McCaffrey. Stanford had a school-record 3,132 rushing yards in 2015.
At Notre Dame, Taylor overcame injuries among his running backs to create an effective rushing attack. Tony Jones Jr., expected to be a reserve, led the team with 857 yards (6.0 per carry) and six touchdowns.
"Lance's ability to gain consensus within the staff by implementing a running game plan that fits our personnel and is tactically and technically sound makes him a great fit for this position," Kelly said.
Notre Dame still has openings on its staff for a tight ends coach (those duties were handled by Long) and a cornerbacks coach after former Irish All-American Todd Lyght resigned following the bowl victory.
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Updated January 14, 2020