Oct 2, 2021; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish Defensive Coordinator Marcus Freeman signals to his players in the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

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Notre Dame names Marcus Freeman as head coach

Notre Dame named defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman as its new head coach on Friday.

Freeman, 35, replaces Brian Kelly, who departed earlier this week to become LSU’s coach in a surprise move. Freeman will be introduced at a news conference on Monday afternoon.

The former Ohio State linebacker will coach the Fighting Irish in their upcoming bowl game after spending one season running the Notre Dame defense.

“It is an honor to be named the head coach of Notre Dame Football,” Freeman said in a statement. “I am eternally grateful to both Father Jenkins and (athletic director) Jack Swarbrick for giving me the opportunity to lead the exceptional men who make this program what it is. Notre Dame is a very special place and I look forward to pursuing a national championship with the most outstanding student-athletes, coaches and staff in college football.”

Freeman served as an assistant with Kent State (2011-12) and Purdue (2013-16) before becoming Cincinnati’s defensive coordinator (2017-20).

“Marcus’ ability to connect with people, his fit at Notre Dame and the way he coaches young men set him apart as we went through our search process,” Swarbrick said in a statement. “I can’t wait to see how the culture created by these remarkable student-athletes continues to grow under the tutelage of Marcus and his staff.”

The Notre Dame defense ranks sixth in the nation in interceptions (15) and defensive touchdowns (four) and seventh in total sacks (40.0).

–Field Level Media

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