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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, December 27, 2016 4:09 pm

Irish finalize hire of Brian Polian

Chris Goff | The Journal Gazette

Notre Dame made the hiring of Brian Polian official, announcing Tuesday he is returning as special teams coordinator. Polian previously served on the Irish coaching staff from 2005-09, with oversight of special teams in each of those five seasons.

“I’m thrilled about the opportunity to return to Notre Dame,” Polian said in a written statement issued by the school. “This is a very special university and football program. I want to thank (Irish coach Brian) Kelly and (athletic director) Jack Swarbrick for the opportunity to rejoin the Fighting Irish family. I’m excited to go to work, get to know the terrific student-athletes and prepare for a great 2017 season.”

Notre Dame went 4-8 this year and finished 104th in the nation in ESPN's special teams efficiency rankings, which prompted Kelly to part ways with special teams coordinator Scott Booker.

“Brian not only brings a successful history of coaching special teams, he’s also considered one of the nation’s top recruiters,” Kelly said in a statement. “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 is coming off four years as Nevada's head coach. He left the Wolf Pack last month after the end of their season, the parting officially described as mutual. His father, Bill, was team president of the Indianapolis Colts.