Notre Dame OC Tommy Rees channels inner Jordan Belfort in meeting with team
Tommy Rees wanted to do the exact opposite of what Brian Kelly did.
Kelly, Notre Dame’s former coach who jumped ship Tuesday to accept the LSU position, left in whirlwind fashion. News leaked on social media before he informed the team, then he met with everyone during a 7 a.m. morning-after meeting that lasted only minutes before he left and flew to Baton Rouge.
Kelly reportedly tried to lure Rees, Notre Dame’s offensive coordinator, and Marcus Freeman, the team’s defensive coordinator (reportedly soon-to-be head coach) but both turned him down. And not only did Rees turn him down, but he got in front of the team Wednesday night to tell them he still believed in them.
— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) December 2, 2021
“It’s on Twitter, but I’m (bleeping) staying,” Rees said. “I just wanted to tell you guys that in person. I love you guys, I love this place, I believe we can win a national championship here. I’m committed to doing everything we can to get to that point. I know it’s been a hell of a week for you guys, it’s been a hell of a week for a lot of us that are a part of this place, but this is where my heart is. My heart’s with you guys and I care too much to leave this place. This is where I want to be, this is where I want to win a national championship.
“I wanted to be able to get in front of you, tell you guys that so you guys knew it. The most important thing to me is that you guys heard from me upfront and that you guys have confidence in me going forward.”
Rees then doubled down on Twitter.
— Tommy Rees (@T_Rees11) December 2, 2021
Clearly, there are some hard feelings there. There’s no good way to tell a team you’re leaving before the year is done, but Kelly has drawn criticism for the way he handled his exit. It’s also notable how often Rees talked about winning a national championship at Notre Dame. Kelly has made clear in a short amount of time that his move to Baton Rouge is about being able to win national championships.
Notre Dame was in the College Football Playoff last year, and 2 years before that. At 11-1 and No. 6 in the latest CFP poll, the Irish are waiting at the doorstep of another CFP berth should chaos erupt during conference championship weekend.