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Marcus Freeman named new head coach at Notre Dame

The popular defensive coordinator was lobbied for by players and recruits to be the new man in South Bend.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman leaves the field after Notre Dame defeated the Purdue Boilermakers at Notre Dame Stadium. Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Update 8:03 a.m. Freeman has been officially named head coach of the Irish.

Notre Dame defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman is going to be promoted as head coach of the Fighting Irish on Friday by UND athletic director Jack Swarbrick, according to The Athletic’s Matt Fortuna. The university’s compensation committee processed the offer on Thursday and it will be made official Friday morning, per Fortuna.

Freeman is an Ohio State grad that was drafted in the fifth round as a linebacker by the Chicago Bears after graduating in 2009, but an enlarged heart condition saw him retire after being cut and a few camp invites and never playing in an NFL game. After heading back to Columbus as a grad assistant for one season, he had stops at Kent State and Purdue. In 2017 he was hired as Cincinnati’s defensive coordinator, leading the Bearcats to one of the best stretches on that side of the ball in school history.

He linked up with Notre Dame prior to the 2021 season as defensive coordinator, and now takes over for Brian Kelly who hired him less than a year ago.

This was the popular choice amongst many ND players and fans, and after being left in the lurch by Kelly despite still having a chance at playing for the national championship, it keeps the transition with recruiting as smooth as possible.