When Marcus Freeman was offered the Notre Dame job over a year ago everybody knew there would be a tedious “adjustment period”
as he acclimated himself to being a first-time head coach. This process would be challenging for anyone,
anywhere, but at Notre Dame, the microscope is bigger, more powerful, and more stressful than at most institutions.
Freeman is smart, he knew challenges lie ahead that he’d have to work through very publicly and was more than willing to do so because he believes in both himself and Notre Dame.
Freeman has found himself in some extraordinarily rough situations in South Bend already.
From losing the starting quarterback for most of year one to all that occurred within the last week regarding the OC search, there’s a lot on his plate.
1. Personalities Matter For a head college football coach, Freeman’s personality is somewhat rare.
He’s considerate, well-spoken, eloquent, and is a deep thinker.
These traits uniquely arm him with what he needs to steer this Irish ship out of some murky waters that they’ve waded into lately.
2. Place Above Person Historically, Notre Dame head coaches that make their tenure about their ego, fail.
Those that realize and respect that it isn’t about them, but is about the 16-foot gold statue atop the dome,
tend to have a better shot success both in terms of on the field and in the world of perception.
Freeman is a man of the Irish people, fans feel more connected to him personally after one year than they ever did with Kelly after almost a dozen years.
3. Communication Skills Paramount Freeman, Swarbrick and company undoubtedly knew some tough questions would be asked regarding the awkward and confusing offensive coordinator situation this week.
4. Forward Thinking There are two huge dynamics in play at the same time right now. The first is dealing with and laying to rest all of the blow-back and questions about the OC hiring process.
5. Behind The Scenes Notre Dame did as good of a job as possible this week of publicly softening the national story lines and trying to steer into the future.
It’s an unenviable position Freeman found himself in but he navigated it successfully.