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The #FreemanEra is underway for the Fighting Irish.
Announced Wednesday evening, Notre Dame football is promoting defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to head coach. Freeman has only spent the 2021 season with the program but has already cultivated support from both players and coaches.
Set to re-join the team next year is offensive coordinator Tommy Rees, also announced as part of the forthcoming regime Wednesday night.
Both coaches were rumored to be joining LSU’s coaching staff after new Tigers coach Brian Kelly announced his intentions to leave Notre Dame on Monday. Rather than letting Freeman and Rees walk, AD Jack Swarbrick decided to go all-in on the culture under Freeman as head coach.
Before the hire, players had posted #FreemanEra in support of moving forward with the 35-year-old coach. Freeman will be one of the youngest head coaches to ever debut for Notre Dame. His name was previously floated for the Oklahoma head coaching gig after Lincoln Riley chose the USC coaching job over the weekend.
While Notre Dame may have also been caught off-guard by Kelly’s announcement earlier this week, they found an immediate response with Freeman’s hiring based on familiarity and apparent system set to fortify the first-time head coach.
Swarbrick still reportedly met with candidates as late as Tuesday. Rumored in consideration for the role was Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell and Iowa State’s Matt Campbell.
Freeman’s appeal for the Irish extends into recruiting thanks to his stellar debut as DC, as well as a four-year run at Cincinnati coaching their defensive unit.
Assumed to fill in for Freeman at the defensive coordinator spot is defensive line coach Mike Elston, despite being rumored to be on Brian Kelly’s coaching radar.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela