Vaas spent the last two seasons as the quarterbacks coach at Notre Dame, helping the Irish to a 19-6 record with consecutive BCS bowl game appearances — Fiesta & Sugar. He coached record-setting All-America quarterback Brady Quinn, who won the Maxwell Trophy and Johnny Unitas Award while finishing third in the Heisman Trophy balloting this past season after throwing for 3,426 yards and 37 touchdowns. Quinn, also the recipient of the 2006 Cingular All-America Player of the Year award, twice was named Notre Dame's MVP and finished his career with school records of 11,762 passing yards and 95 touchdown passes.
Vaas spent six seasons as a head coach in NFL Europe, guiding the Berlin Thunder (21-21 overall record from 2000-03) to World Bowl championships in 2001 and 2002 while earning the league's Coach of the Year honor in 2002. He then directed the Cologne Centurions (2004-05) for two seasons, compiling a 10-10 overall record. He also served two seasons (1998-99) as an assistant coach for the Barcelona Dragons, helping the team to an 11-9 overall record and a berth in the 1999 World Bowl.
Prior to his coaching stints in NFL Europe, Vaas was the offensive coordinator for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League in 1996. That season, Montreal led the CFL in rushing and fewest turnovers and posted a 12-6 regular season ledger.
Vaas got his start in coaching at Allegheny College where he spent five seasons (1974-78) as an assistant coach. He then was a member of the coaching staff at New Hampshire as the offensive backfield coach from 1979-82 and later offensive coordinator from 1983-85. Vaas returned to Allegheny as the football program's head coach and compiled a 29-11-1 record from 1986-89. He guided the Gators to North Coast Athletic Conference championships in 1987 and 1988, earning league Coach of the Year honors in both of those seasons. In 1999, Vaas was inducted into Allegheny's Hall of Fame.
Following his successful tenure at Allegheny, Vaas joined the Notre Dame staff under head coach Lou Holtz and coached the running backs in 1990 and the quarterbacks in 1991. In that two-year span, the Fighting Irish went 19-6, defeated seven top-25 opponents and played in the Orange and Sugar Bowls. The 1991 squad established a school regular season record by totalling 426 points by eclipsing the 40-point barrier in six games. Vaas then returned to his alma mater, College of the Holy Cross, as head football coach and registered a 14-30 overall record from 1992-95.
A native of Westwood, Mass., Vaas is a 1974 graduate of Holy Cross where he was a three-year starter at quarterback. He was enshrined into the Westwood High School Hall of Fame in 1992.