Notre Dame defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman was re-introduced to Fighting Irish players as their new head coach on Friday -- and judging by the response, they couldn't be happier.
Freeman, who was officially named head coach on Friday and is set for an introductory press conference on Monday, met briefly with his players on Friday morning following a dramatic introduction during a team meeting.
The Fighting Irish players erupted in loud cheers and mobbed Freeman, who is taking over for former head coach Brian Kelly after his successful 12-year run at the helm.
Kelly, 60, announced his shocking departure for LSU earlier this week, in a move that left more than a few Notre Dame fans and alum feeling betrayed.
But the popular Freeman's promotion seems to be going over well, certainly at least with his players, and perhaps also among other Notre Dame assistants who have opted against following Kelly to Baton Rouge.
Freeman, a 35-year-old former standout linebacker at Ohio State, served as Notre Dame's defensive coordinator last season. In an interesting twist, he was nearly hired by LSU last offseason to serve in that same role, though he ultimately ended up in South Bend.
Freeman transitioned to coaching soon after a brief NFL career was cut short by injury. He spent time with the Bears, Bills and Texans organizations after Chicago made him a fifth-round draft pick in 2009.
Since then, he has cut his teeth as a defensive assistant with the Buckeyes, Kent State, Purdue, Cincinnati, and finally with the Irish.
Freeman becomes the second Black head coach in Notre Dame history, after Tyrone Willingham held the position from 2002-04.