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Notre Dame Football

QB Jack Coan Comes Full Circle With Transfer To Notre Dame

January 5, 2021

Jack Coan’s family doesn’t need to load up on a bunch of Notre Dame gear after the former Wisconsin quarterback’s announcement on Monday evening that he would be playing as a grad transfer with the Irish next season.

They did that years ago, when the New York native committed to play lacrosse for the Irish as a freshman at Sayville High School and it’s still packed away in the attic.

“They never threw it out,” former Sayville High School football coach Robert Hoss says.

“Once his football career took off, that kind of put lacrosse more on the backburner.”

Still, following Coan’s announcement that he would be completing his collegiate career in South Bend after all, one of the first texts he received was from Irish lacrosse coach Kevin Corrigan.

“I think that kind of tells you a little bit about his relationship with Notre Dame Lacrosse at that time and I think speaks volumes too of what Coach Corrigan remembered or thought of Jack that years later, he found time to text a kid who had committed almost a decade ago,” Hoss says.

Coan started 18 games for the Badgers between the 2018 and 2019 seasons, but was sidelined for the entire 2020 season with a foot injury.

“It’s exciting to get that past us and obviously, with Notre Dame, couldn’t be happier,” Hoss says.

While Coan “absolutely loved his time at Wisconsin and loved everything about that school,” Hoss says there probably was always a place where he wondered about Notre Dame even if it was in the way, way back of his mind.

When it became clear Coan would finish his career somewhere other than Madison, Hoss asked about Notre Dame.

“I’d kind of been following Notre Dame,” the coach says. “They’re a national program how do you not? Once I kind of knew that Ian wasn’t coming back, I said this may be a place. ‘What do you think about navigating it?’ He was all about it and took off from there.”

But when Coan officially entered the Transfer Portal, the Irish’s focus was elsewhere.

“Notre Dame was really invested in their season,” says Hoss. “They still had to play Clemson for the ACC Championship. There was obviously interest on their side, but to be honest, they were very concerned about beating Clemson and getting ready for Alabama.

“As they understood our timeline and how it fit in their timeline, it kind of got more aggressive as that went on. Jack was pretty far along with some other schools that went back before Notre Dame.”

The timeframe had to slightly change and it did.

“Originally, Notre Dame was concerned about their season, which I would expect to them to be,” says Hoss. “It just happened to work out.”

Rick Kimball/ISD
In Coan, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Tommy Rees gets a new competitor in the race to replace Ian Book.

With three-year starter Ian Book moving on, Coan enters Brian Kelly and Tommy Rees’ quarterback room at the Gug which is expected to include junior-to-be Brendan Clark, sophomore-to-be Drew Pyne and incoming freshman Tyler Buchner.

“There’s been no guarantee to Jack about anything,” says Hoss. “Obviously, Coach Rees and Coach Kelly like Jack. They felt he fit in their plans of what they were looking at in a quarterback.

“There’s no secret here that they’re a very young room. It doesn’t mean they’re not tremendously talented. If Notre Dame expresses interest and offers you a scholarship, you’re talented, let’s be honest. He understands that. Jack has never run away from competition, he runs to it.”

Hoss says it was important for Coan to find the right fit and thinks he found it with Notre Dame.

“Without any guarantees, you look at what system do they run and does that bring out positives in our kid?” he says. “If they’re running simply a Zone Read scheme and running the quarterback 40 times a game, it’s probably not the right place for him. We look at, ‘Can this program develop you? Can they develop you into an NFL kid? Are you on a platform for which your film can be scrutinized by people and playing great competition?’

“I really think a lot of those boxes are checked when you look at what Notre Dame has to offer and what Jack can offer Notre Dame.”

Coan will have one year of eligibility remaining and wants to make the most of it.

“There’s no doubt this was a business decision,” his coach says. “He has his degree. He’s super smart. He’s going there to play football, that’s what this is about. There was no secret to that. When people asked him, ‘Do you want to go to the grad program? Do you want this? Do you want that?’ Pretty simply put, he wants to play football.”

“He wants a great opportunity to finish his college career at a great place and really come back full circle really intrigues him.”

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