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Marcus Freeman named head coach at Notre Dame, Tommy Rees staying as offensive coordinator

The Irish have reportedly promoted their defensive coordinator to head coach.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 02 Cincinnati at Notre Dame
Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebackers coach Marcus Freeman looks on during a game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Cincinnati Bearcats on October 2, 2021, in South Bend, IN.
Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have promoted defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to head coach, according to multiple media reports. Freeman has been seen as a rising star in coaching circles and was one of the contenders for the position. The Irish will also be retaining Tommy Rees as offensive coordinator, according to multiple reports.

The Irish had to make a quick hire for two reasons. The first is Brian Kelly’s stunning departure for LSU, leaving a team in College Football Playoff contention without a coach with a bowl game still to play. The second is the CFP committee criteria, which states a team can be evaluated negatively for not having a coach available. Notre Dame did not name an interim coach ahead of being ranked No. 6 in the latest CFP rankings.

With Freeman and Rees both reportedly being lured by Kelly to join him at LSU, Notre Dame had to move quickly to retain both coordinators. Expect a formal announcement regarding Freeman’s promotion soon.