Jack Coan Named Notre Dame's Starting Quarterback, Brian Kelly Announces

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 14, 2021

Notre Dame quarterback Jack Coan (17) throws during the Blue-Gold NCAA spring football game on Saturday, May 1, 2021, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
AP Photo/Robert Franklin

Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly named Jack Coan his starting quarterback for the 2021 season on Saturday.

Kelly announced the decision in a statement in which he also praised the other quarterbacks who vied for the starting job:

Notre Dame Football PR Team @NDFootballPR

Brian Kelly Names Jack Coan Starting Quarterback <a href="https://t.co/L8zKLotTBa">pic.twitter.com/L8zKLotTBa</a>

Coan, a senior, spent three seasons at Wisconsin before transferring to Notre Dame following the 2020 campaign.

Until Coan was named the starter, he was locked in a tight race with true freshman Tyler Buchner and sophomore Drew Pyne, and all of them were looking to become the successor to Ian Book.

All three quarterbacks got an extended look in Notre Dame's Blue vs. Gold spring game in May, but none of them set themselves apart enough at that time to seize the starting job.

Buchner had the best performance in the game, going 6-of-9 for 140 yards and a rushing touchdown. Meanwhile, Coan went 18-of-32 for 197 yards and an interception, while Pyne went 11-of-23 for 146 yards and an interception.

As part of his starting-quarterback announcement, Kelly noted that Coan got the job due to his consistency compared to Buchner and Pyne.

It should come as little surprise that Coan has the edge in that department since he has significantly more experience at the collegiate level than his counterparts.

In three seasons at Wisconsin, Coan went 12-6 as a starter, including a 10-4 mark in 2019. Coan also completed 69.6 percent of his passes for 2,727 yards, 18 touchdowns and five interceptions that year.

Coan did not play at all last season after suffering a foot injury that required surgery.

The 22-year-old native of Sayville, New York, will have some big shoes to fill as the starting quarterback of the Fighting Irish after everything Book achieved in that role.

Book, who was a fourth-round pick of the New Orleans Saints in the 2021 NFL draft, went 30-5 as a starter over his four seasons at Notre Dame and is the all-time leader in quarterback wins in school history.

He led the Irish to the College Football Playoff in 2018, threw a career-high 34 touchdown passes in 2019 and took them back to the CFP again last season.

Notre Dame has won at least 10 games in each of the past four seasons as well, and Coan will be tasked with expanding the streak to five in 2021.