Notre Dame promotes Freeman, 35, to replace Kelly as coach

Notre Dame-Freeman

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Notre Dame has promoted defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to replace Brian Kelly as head coach of the Fighting Irish.

Freeman, 35, takes over less than a week after Kelly’s abrupt departure for LSU with the Irish still in contention for the College Football Playoff.

After the 2020 season, Kelly hired Freeman away from Cincinnati, where he had been for four seasons, helping the Bearcats develop into a playoff contender.

In one season at Notre Dame, Freeman helped a team that was expected to be in transition after making the playoff last year go 11-1. He also established himself as a vital recruiter.

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