Brian Polian‘s return to Notre Dame is official. After four years as Nevada’s head coach, Polian is back in South Bend, coordinating the Irish special teams, a position he held under Charlie Weis, and also held at Stanford and Texas A&M.
Head coach Brian Kelly released the following statement:
“Brian not only brings a successful history of coaching special teams, but he’s also considered one of the nation’s top recruiters. 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, whose Nevada team lost to Notre Dame this September 39-10, began his coaching career when Charlie Weis hired him in 2005, spending five seasons under Weis in South Bend. He has coached under Nick Saban, George O’Leary, Jim Harbaugh and Kevin Sumlin and is the son of Hall of Famer and six-time NFL executive of the year Bill Polian.
The 42-year-old coach got his first head coaching job when he replaced heralded Nevada coach Chris Ault. He won just four games in his first season before back-to-back seven-win seasons, winning the Arizona Bowl over Colorado State in 2015. He was fired after Nevada went 5-7 this season.
“I’m thrilled about the opportunity to return to Notre Dame,” Polian said in a statement. “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.”
Polian’s time in South Bend is best marked by his recruiting win of five-star linebacker Manti Te’o over favorite USC. He’ll likely recruit the West Coast and help in Texas as well, areas he’s worked before as both a head coach and assistant.