Marcus Freeman's rise through the coaching ranks continues.
Notre Dame announced Friday that it had hired Freeman, a former Ohio State linebacker, as its new defensive coordinator.
Freeman, who played for the Buckeyes from 2004-08, heads to South Bend after three years as the defensive coordinator at Cincinnati, where he led a defense that ranked eighth in the entire Football Bowl Subdivision with just 16.8 points allowed per game in 2020.
Freeman began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Ohio State in 2010 before becoming the linebackers coach at Kent State in 2011. After two years there, Freeman spent four years at Purdue as linebackers coach and eventually co-defensive coordinator before joining the staff of Luke Fickell, his former Ohio State position coach, at Cincinnati in 2017.
If Freeman can continue to lead successful defenses in South Bend, it could be his final stop before he gets his opportunity to become a head coach. Freeman, who is 34 years old, reportedly has his sights set on becoming a head coach, and the opportunity to coach at one of college football's most prominent programs should give him the opportunity to raise his profile.
Freeman also interviewed for the defensive coordinator vacancy at LSU, but chose the Fighting Irish over the Tigers.
The chance to remain in the midwest was important to Marcus Freeman in making this decision to choose NotreDame over LSU. It's a done deal, per source.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 8, 2021
Notre Dame is set to open the 2022 season at Ohio State and host the Buckeyes at Notre Dame Stadium in 2023.