Blue and Gold Illustrated

December 2021

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 4 of 47 DECEMBER 2021 5 FAN FORUM After watching defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman's unit post its third straight game without allowing a touchdown — the first time that happened since the national runner-up season in 2012 — in the 55-0 beatdown of Georgia Tech Nov. 20, Irish fans have started speculation about his future. One fan on our message board at posed this question: "Is it time to name Marcus Freeman coach in waiting at ND?" Here is part of the conversation that ensued: Groggy Grizzly: YES!! Make it happen. ndtarheel7: LOL, no. ND has a track record of hiring coaches with no head coaching experience at the major college program level and it didn't go well. The definition of insanity and all that. Freeman is certainly a tempting coach to consider but as much as I like him and anticipate him being successful at some point in his future, I'm not rolling the dice with him, and he does not get my vote. mh2365: No because it's a dumb title and doesn't prevent him from going anywhere and I don't think Brian Kelly is going anywhere anytime soon. BigNDFan80: No. And Coach Kelly never said he should be the next head coach at ND. rockne1988: No. He's coached one season here with games left. Silent Banjo: What happens if the defense gets crappy? nedavis2: Awful and necessary. chipper539: That's a tough one to answer. There have definitely been mixed results with coaches in waiting at other schools. The thing that I do like about Freeman is the talent level he has been recruiting for ND has taken a bump up talent-wise to compete with the Georgia's and OSU's of the world. That is what ND has been lacking when going up against the big boys. Personally, I would like to see another year with Freeman as the DC before doing something like this. I really would hate to lose him, though. The classes this year and next year could be elite. Maverick 1: No … a bad and DUMB idea. ndcarroll: I suspect he will have head coaching offers, maybe not SC, LSU, Florida or Washington, but certainly Wake, Baylor, Cincinnati would likely con- sider him. … Head coach in waiting, generally not a fan but situations matter, and it would depend on who is out there and who are we competing against. If we are down to the 3rd or 4th guy in the list then maybe not. bsmitty08: No, way too early. Freeman may be a great head coach one day, but he has only coached 11 games at ND. Pump the brakes a little bit. PreTill1: Has the head coach in waiting ever had a positive outcome? I still recall the nightmare is caused Texas fans when [Will] Muschamp was given that bogus title. kwsusmc: No, give him a pay raise in the offseason. But no head coach in waiting nonsense. I believe he'll need head coaching experience at a different place than ND. samarrand: We don't want another Charlie Weis thing. Give Freeman a pay raise if you want but calm down with the coach in waiting after 1 year. Also give [Irish defensive line coach Mike] Elston a pay raise just because. He is the anchor of the coaching staff. Kcndmis97: Yes, I'm all for it as long as it is at least 2 years down the road. BK can groom him. He is a fantastic recruiter, and the other coaches seem to like him. It has worked out for [Oklahoma's Lincoln] Riley and [Ohio State's Ryan] Day. Don't let him get away. bigteve79: As well as the defense is playing now, I don't think this would be the move to make. When coach Kelly retires, [Cincinnati head coach Luke] Fickell would be my first choice. He's proven he can build a program and has the Midwestern roots, especially in Ohio, that would prove useful to the head coach at ND. johnnyh: He will have a head job sooner rather than later … I suspect he may have a few offers already. No title attachment should be given & it would not matter if it was … jstehly5511: I'd have no problem with it. sjb75: No. That said, Marcus Freeman as DC thus far is a grand-slam hire. FROM THE WEBSITE .com .com First-year defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman's success at Notre Dame thus far has led some people to already begin speculating about his future. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER SEND YOUR LETTERS to or mail to: Blue & Gold Illustrated • P. O. Box 1007, Notre Dame, IN 46556

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