Multiple media reports are indicating that Marcus Freeman will be the next head football coach at Notre Dame.

The news was first tweeted out by former walk-on Fighting Irish player Mick Assaf. Matt Zenitz of On3 Sports then confirmed Assaf’s tweet, with Football Scoop’s John Brice and The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman shortly confirming the reports as well.

Freeman, 35, became the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame in January after former DC Clark Lea left to become the head coach at Vanderbilt. Freeman spent four seasons at Cincinnati as the defensive coordinator there prior to coming to South Bend.

The news of Freeman’s hiring comes less than 48 hours after Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick told reporters that there was no timetable on a new coach being hired and that no interim head coach would be announced after Brian Kelly left the Fighting Irish to take the LSU job early Tuesday morning.

“Every search process has its own rhythm,” said Swarbrick on Tuesday morning. “You want to do the best job you can, not the fastest job you can. We’re going to do the best job we can to find the right person to lead Notre Dame.”

Once Kelly was officially left, there was near-universal support from current players, former players and incoming recruits to promote Freeman to the head coach position. Freeman was linked to numerous head coaching jobs following the 2020 season before ultimately taking the coordinator role with Notre Dame.

No official announcement has yet been made on Freeman’s hiring.


Offensive coordinator Tommy Rees will be staying at Notre Dame, regardless of who the next coach is. After there were many reports of Kelly trying to bring both Freeman and Rees with him to his staff at LSU, it appears both coordinators will be staying with the Fighting Irish.

While Freeman’s promotion isn’t confirmed, Notre Dame tweeted out a video Wednesday night that featured Rees addressing the team, stating his intent to stay with the program.

“I love you guys; I love this place. I believe that we can win a national championship here, and I’m committed to doing everything we can to get to that point,” Rees said. “I know it’s been a hell of a week for you guys — it’s been a hell of a week for a lot of us that are a part of this place. This is where my heart is, and my heart is with you guys. I care too much to leave this place. This is where I want to be. This is where I want to win a national championship.”

Notre Dame social media pages also confirmed Tuesday night that head strength and conditioning coach Matt Balis will be staying with the program. Tom Loy of 247Sports reported Wednesday night that tight ends coach John McNulty will also be staying at Notre Dame, meaning virtually all of Kelly’s staff will be around for the upcoming bowl game and 2022 season.

This story will be updated once news on Freeman’s hiring becomes official.

Austin Hough can be reached at or at 574-538-2360. Follow him on Twitter at @AustinHoughTGN.

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