SOUTH BEND – Moments after receiving a standing ovation lasting over a minute at the Compton Family Ice Arena, Marcus Freeman went to the TV box for a short interview during the first break.
Freeman was asked who he messed up in the hockey game – Notre Dame or the visitors. It seems like a silly question to someone who was officially named Notre Dame’s football coach about 12 hours earlier.
That is, until you remember Freeman played on and graduated from Ohio State. The Buckeyes were in the building in South Bend for Friday night’s Big 10 tilt on the ice.
Freeman’s response to the NBCSN broadcast David KorzeniowskiThe question was exactly what you would expect from someone wearing a blue and gold Fighting Irish hockey sweater with a pair of navy blue chino pants and bright white Vans.
“I totally agree with Notre Dame,” Freeman said. “I’ve been all in on Notre Dame from the moment I entered this campus. You can not help but embrace this special place. Notre Dame will change you if you leave. That’s why I’m excited to be the leader is training here. ”
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Freeman sat with his family in ward 118. The only time he left his seats through the first two periods was to do his interview. Otherwise, he seemed completely locked into the game, even though Ohio State jumped out to a 4-1 lead through 40 minutes.
Locked into the game. What else have the Irish come to expect from Freeman?
“We’re going to be the most competitive football team Notre Dame has ever played on the pitch,” Freeman said. “I’m looking forward. To seeing that kind of growth. We are a really, really good football team. In this culture, we will continue to improve it.”
Freeman listed three key characteristics that he is looking for from the Irish with himself at the helm; a “challenge all mentality”, “unity strength” and “competitive spirit.” But even though he has been in South Bend for 11 months as the Irish defensive coordinator, these things will take some time to really manifest themselves to the fullest.
Freeman had not even finished a full day as Notre Dame’s football coach at the time of his first break interview. He said he will remember the “humiliating” moment when he walked through the door and jumped into the arms of his players for the first time as the man in charge for the rest of his life.
Freeman left his seats in Section 118 for the first time during the game’s action during the second break. He walked around the O’Brien’s Club a bit to greet excited Irish fans who were eager to congratulate him and wish him the best of luck.
There has been a lot of that for Freeman over the last few days.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” Freeman said. “Not much sleep. I’ve talked to a lot of people. But you have to do that to become head coach at the University of Norte Dame. You realize when you go through this process how many people are affected by this football program. ”
Freeman will continue to influence many more. He is completely with.
“I know for the rest of my coaching career that I get the chance to be changed by Notre Dame every single day,” Freeman said. “I have embraced this place. We love this place. My family loves this place. I can not wait to see what the future brings.”
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