Michael Bertsch | December 29, 2016
Former University of Notre Dame assistant coach Brian Polian, who spent the last four years as the head coach at Nevada, has been named Fighting Irish special teams coordinator.
“I’m thrilled about the opportunity to return to Notre Dame,” said Polian. “This is a very special University and football program. I want to thank coach Kelly and Jack Swarbrick for the opportunity to re-join the Fighting Irish family. Laura and I are looking forward to coming back to this wonderful community. I’m excited to go to work, get to know the terrific student-athletes and prepare for a great 2017 season.”
“Brian not only brings a successful history of coaching special teams, but he’s also considered one of the nation’s top recruiters,” said head coach Brian Kelly. “He simply understands Notre Dame, what it’s about, and the type of student-athlete that we need to succeed at the highest level. I’m extremely excited to have Brian join this program, and our players will benefit from his mentorship, passion, energy and enthusiasm -- both on and off the field.”
Polian, who also coordinated special teams at Stanford and Texas A&M, previously spent five years on the Notre Dame sidelines (2005-09). In addition to coordinating Irish special teams, Polian coached both defensive backs and linebackers.
During his tenure at Notre Dame, Polian earned a number of honors as one of the top recruiters in the country and was a nominee for the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Assistant Coach of the Year in 2008. His special teams units set a number of school records and the Irish went to a pair of BCS bowl games.
In 2008, Polian guided the Notre Dame kickoff return defense to a nation leading 16.47 yards per return -- even more impressive when you consider the figure came on 59 kickoff return attempts. In fact, only one FBS school since 2003 has posted a better kickoff return defense with at least 59 kickoff return attempts.