- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
- American college football player and coach
The departure of former football coach Brian Kelly to LSU was cause for emotion in Notre Dame circles.
As was the promotion of new head coach Marcus Freeman. The first-time head coach is taking over one of football's most fabled programs after spending a single season as the team's defensive coordinator on Kelly's staff. It adds up to a rapid ascent for the 35-year-old former Ohio State linebacker who built his reputation as Cincinnati's defensive coordinator prior to joining Notre Dame.
Freeman officially introduced himself to media and fans as head coach in a news conference on Monday. The gravity of the moment caught up with him as he thanked his wife Joanna and the six children they have together for their sacrifices and the Notre Dame administration for the opportunity. He did so as he choked back tears.
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) December 6, 2021
"My wife, my partner, thank you for your unselfishness," Freeman said. "Thank you for always being there and your support, most of the time. You can be my toughest critic. To my kids Vinny, Siena, Geno, Rocco, Capri, Nico. You didn't ask for this. You didn't ask to share your dad. But you have to. And I love you."
That's when Freeman's emotions caught up with him. His voice cracked as he thanked Notre Dame president Rev. John Jenkins and athletic director Jack Swarbick.
"Thank you for challenging everything," Freeman continued. "Thank you for making a decision to believe in a 35-year-old first-time head coach. And I vow to work tirelessly to never disappoint you."