Enthusiasm

Marcus Freeman receives enthusiastic reception as he officially becomes Notre Dame’s new football coach – CBS Chicago

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (CBS / AP) – Marcus Freeman got his team’s full support after Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator officially accepted the head coach position.

After a year at school, Freeman is head coach for the first time, as the Irish fighters await the weekend’s results. At 11-1, Freeman and his company are still alive to make the four-team college football playoffs.

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Freeman, 35, returned to the program less than a season after joining Notre Dame from Cincinnati.

Freeman’s rise comes from the fact that the program also retains offensive coordinator Tommy Rees. A former Irish quarterback under Kelly from 2010 to 2013, Rees was reportedly courted to join Kelly at LSU. Retaining Rees to lead the offensive was seen as a key to Notre Dame if she decided to promote Freeman from within.

Rees announced his decision to stay with the Irish at a team meeting on Wednesday night.

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Although Freeman will become one of the youngest head coaches in Notre Dame history, he has had a huge impact on the program since joining before the start of the season. The Irish have kept their last four opponents at 23 points combined, and the program is also putting the finishing touches on its first class among the top-five since 2013 thanks in large part to Freeman’s leadership on the scouting track.

Former Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly became the most successful coach in school history earlier this season, overtaking Knute Rockne. In 12 seasons with the Fighting Irish, Kelly is 113-40, including the current five-game winning streak in double digits.

Notre Dame finished an 11-1 season on Saturday and is still in the running to reach the college football playoffs for the third time in the past four years.

No former Notre Dame coach has ever left the Irish, winners of eight national championships voted by the AP, to take a job at another school.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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