The Journal Gazette
Friday, December 03, 2021 1:10 pm

Freeman addresses Irish for first time as coach

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

New Notre Dame coach Marcus Freeman this afternoon addressed his team for the first time as its head coach.

Until today, Freeman had been the team's defensive coordinator.

The Irish released a video of his message to the players. Here is what the 35-year-old first-time head coach had to say:

"This is the first time I get to address you guys. It seems like centuries that I've been at home after me and (athletic director) Jack Swarbrick had this conversation. First off, I want to thank Jack for this opportunity. He's the one that made this decision. Somebody had to make this decision, and he gave me this opportunity and Father Jenkins gave me this opportunity.

"But the reason why is because of you (the players). Everybody understand that? The reason why I'm standing here is because of you. It's unbelievable how powerful you guys are. Right? It's unbelievable how powerful your voices are. That's why we are going to do great things.

"We've got great leaders in this room. You know what I'm saying? We've got great leaders in this room, OK, and when you want something done, you get it done. That's on the football field, that's off the football field, that's in leadership, that's in everything we do. When you guys want something done and you come together and you say, 'I'm going to get something done,' we get it done.

"The same things are going to happen as we move forward. Things aren't changing, men. We are going to enhance what we do, but things aren't changing. We're going to lead, we're going to lean on our leadership and you leaders know who you are. We're going to lean on you because what you guys want to get done is going to get done. We're going to set high expectations and we're going to do everything in our power to make sure we equip ourselves to reach that.

"Then the next mission is going to occur. Forty-eight hours (until the Irish find out their bowl opponent). I don't care who we play. I don't care who the opponent is, in 48 hours we're going to get together and we're going to get going for this mission. We owe it to the seniors. This isn't about the future. Let's be clear. That is a disservice to this group. This isn't about the future. This isn't about next year. This isn't about five years from now. It's about right now. It's about finishing this season off the right way for you seniors. Everybody clear? I don't care about anything else.

"We all got a job to do. I care about us and this group and this coaching staff and this football family finishing this thing off the way we have to."

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