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Reports: Saban talks with Notre Dame’s Rees about OC job

Syndication: Notre Dame Insider

Notre Dame offensive coordinator Tommy Rees during Notre Dame Spring Practice on Saturday, March 26, 2022, at Irish Athletics Center in South Bend, Indiana. Ncaa Football 2022 Notre Dame Spring Practice

John Mersits / USA TODAY NETWORK

Notre Dame offensive coordinator Tommy Rees spoke with Alabama coach Nick Saban about filling a vacancy on the Crimson Tide’s coaching staff and was scheduled to be in Tuscaloosa, two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

Both spoke on condition of anonymity because Saban and Alabama were not making details about their search for a replacement for offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien public.

O’Brien spent the last two seasons directing the Crimson’s Tide offense and coaching quarterbacks. The former Houston Texans head coach left last month to join Patriots coach Bill Belichick in New England as offensive coordinator. O’Brien was a New England assistant before becoming Penn State head coach in 2012.

Rees, a former Notre Dame quarterback, has been an assistant at his alma mater since 2017 and offensive coordinator since 2020. He also spent a year with the San Diego Chargers in 2016 before returning to South Bend, Indiana, as quarterbacks coach.

The 30-year-old Rees was wooed by Brian Kelly when he left Notre Dame for LSU and by Miami last year, but decided to stay and work for first-year Fighting Irish coach Marcus Freeman. Notre Dame finished 9-4 last season.

Notre Dame’s offense have been solid statistically under Rees, ranking 45th (last season), 43rd (2021) and 39th (2020) nationally in yards per play.

Alabama will be breaking in a new starting quarterback next season after Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young declared for the NFL draft.