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Notre Dame Football

QB1 Jack Coan Ready to Lead San Antonio Brahmas in XFL Reboot

February 17, 2023
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Quarterback Jack Coan proved to be a godsend to Notre Dame in 2021. The Wisconsin graduate transfer led the Irish to an 11-2 record and completed 65.5% of his passes for 3,150 yards, 25 touchdowns against seven picks.

Coan went undrafted in the 2022 NFL Draft and signed with the Indianapolis Colts as a free agent. He battled with formed Texas signal-caller Sam Ehlinger for the team’s third-string quarterback spot. 

Coan was released at the end preseason after completing 10-of-19 throws for 91 yards and a score in three exhibition games. 

“You sort of get in the NFL and you reach all your dreams and goals, you reach what you’ve been working for your whole life and then you get released,” Coan said. “You almost feel like you hit rock bottom a little bit. It was definitely very challenging. I just tried to take it one day at a time, work as hard as I could every day and just prepare for my next opportunity wherever it was.”

He tried out for the Seattle Seahawks and Las Vegas Raiders during the season but failed to make the roster or practice squad for either franchise. 

In November, the San Antonio Brahmas, one of eight franchises in the reboot of the XFL, picked up Coan, and he quickly got to work. 

“I was extremely excited when I got the call to join the XFL and this team,” Coan said. “It's just been a  ton of fun just getting to play football again and getting to play the game I love again.”

Once again, Coan entered a quarterback competition, this time with Reid Sinnett and Jawon Pass.

The Brahmas announced at the end of training camp this week that Coan had won the starting quarterback job in week one. He was also named a team captain. 

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“You look at the two quarterbacks with Reid Sinnett and Jack, both are viable options that we have,” Ward said. “It's great to have two quarterbacks on your team that can go out there and perform. But I think day to day, Jack was just a little bit more consistent as far as his play, as far as executing the plays.”

Coan will make his first start on Sunday against the St. Louis Battlehawks at 3 p.m. on ABC St. inside San Antonio’s Alamodome.

All eight XFL rosters are comprised of completely new players, so Coan is still getting to know his wide receivers and tight ends. He’s learning their route tendencies and building chemistry as fast as possible.

“You sort of come into this new league and don't really know what to expect,” Coan said. “You really don't know any of the guys on the team or what the offense is going to be or what the scheme is going to be. It's sort of just trying to learn as much as you can each and every day.”

Coan gets to team up with another former Golden Domer in tight end Alizé Mack, who spent 2015-18 at Notre Dame. In South Bend, Mack snagged 68 career catches for 716 yards and four scores and was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the seventh round of the 2019 NFL Draft. 

In five seasons, Mack signed onto the practice squad for five different NFL teams but has yet to make an active roster. He’s hoping his opportunity with the Brahmas this spring will prove he’s ready for another chance. 

“Mack is an unbelievable player, and I'm super excited to get the opportunity to share the field with him,” Coan said. “Notre Dame is 'Tight End U' of course. He's an unbelievable tight end. I was fortunate to play with a great one while I was at Notre Dame [in Michael Mayer], and I'm fortunate to play with a great one here.”

Coan wrapped up his collegiate career less than 15 months ago, but a lot has changed at Notre Dame since his departure. Most notably, his former offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Tommy Rees left the Irish on Feb. 3 to take on the same position for coach Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide.

“I’m super excited for him. I think that's a great opportunity for him,” Coan said. “I congratulated him, and I'm excited to follow Alabama now and root for them and root for Coach Rees as well. Notre Dame will certainly still be Notre Dame under Coach Freeman. There's still a lot of great players on that team, and I think they're going to have a fantastic year.”

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