SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame has officially found their next football head coach.
Defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman has been tabbed to lead the Fighting Irish. Freeman will take over for Brian Kelly, who abruptly left Notre Dame for the head coaching job at LSU Monday night.
The Fighting Irish football team tweeted the announcement Friday just after 8 a.m. and said "IT'S OFFICIAL."
The hiring was first reported by Matt Zenitz of On3 Sports, according to NBC Sports.
The Associated Press also reported that the school was working on a deal to promote Freeman, who would be the second Black head football coach in Notre Dame history, following Tyrone Willingham, who coached the Irish from 2002-2004.
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While Freeman moves into the head coaching job in South Bend, their offensive coordinator will remain the same. Tommy Rees, a 2013 Notre Dame graduate, told the team Wednesday he was staying at the university.
"I love you guys, I love this place, I believe that we can win a national championship here," Rees said. "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, but his is where my heart is and my heart is with you guys. I care too much to leave this place."
The Irish are currently ranked sixth in the latest College Football Playoff Rankings, with a chance to make the four-team playoff for a national championship. They are currently ranked behind Georgia, Michigan, Alabama, Cincinnati and Oklahoma State. All five of those teams will play in a conference championship game this weekend and a slip-up could open the door for Notre Dame to grab a spot in the top four.
Freeman played four seasons at linebacker at Ohio State and was on three NFL rosters in the 2009 season — Chicago, Buffalo and Houston. He played in the BCS National Championship Game twice while with the Buckeyes.
While this is his first year as Notre Dame's defensive coordinator, Freeman has also coached at Ohio State, Kent State, Purdue and Cincinnati. He was linebackers coach for the Boilermakers from 2013-2015 and added co-defensive coordinator duties in 2016.
According to NBC Sports, the 35-year-old is the youngest head coach of the Fighting Irish since 25-year-old Terry Brennan was hired in 1954.
(Editor's Note: This article has been corrected to note that Freeman will be the second Black head football coach at Notre Dame, not the first as previously reported.)