Following a successful 2020 college football season, Notre Dame was bound to lose at least one assistant coach.
Defensive coordinator Clark Lea produced a dominant defense for the Fighting Irish this year. As a result, he was awarded by becoming the head coach at his alma mater – Vanderbilt.
That left head coach Brian Kelly in need of a new defensive coordinator. It didn’t take Kelly long to find Lea’s replacement.
Notre Dame announced the program hired former Cincinnati defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to the same position for the Fighting Irish.
“As we looked into finding someone to run our defense, it was important to find the right fit for our program and Marcus and his family are just that,” said Kelly. “He has had great success on the field, both running a defense and in his direct work with his linebackers. Additionally, he is considered among the elite recruiters in the coaching ranks.
Please welcome Bob Hinton Defensive Coordinator/LB coach, @Marcus_Freeman1. ☘️
— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) January 8, 2021
Freeman popped up as one of the hottest coaching candidates after the Bearcats posted one of the best defenses in the country.
Cincinnati ranked No. 13 in total defense (324.6 yards per game) and No. 8 in scoring defense (16.8 points per game) among all FBS teams.
After a standout season with the Bearcats, Freeman was destined for a bigger job. LSU reportedly showed interest, but Notre Dame won out in the end.
The Fighting Irish should be dangerous once again.