Brian Kelly may have let everyone in on a plan for defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to be his successor at Notre Dame a long time ago.
On Monday night, Kelly shocked the college football world when it was announced that he was leaving his post in South Bend to take over for Coach O at LSU.
Sources: LSU is expecting to hire Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly as the school’s next head coach. An announcement could come as early as tomorrow.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) November 30, 2021
Shortly after the news dropped, an old quote Brian Kelly made about Marcus Freeman began to surface.
Kelly appeared on “Race and Sports in America: Conversations,” prior to the season – where he joined Steph Curry and Vince Carter on a panel with Curry’s parents. He proceeded to talk about Freeman and the plans for the future at Notre Dame.
“My defensive coordinator is Black, and he’s going to be the next head coach,” Kelly said via Irish Wire. “This is not about color or race. This is about the things they (Steph Curry, Dell Curry, Vince Carter) just talked about.
“Steph just talked about the most important things to be a CEO, and that’s understanding how you make people around you better. Please. That simple.”
The current Fighting Irish head coach accidentally might have identified his successor during a TV interview. https://t.co/JSJ2CHHxox
— Fighting Irish Wire (@IrishWireND) August 26, 2021
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Now, I’m sure nobody expected Brian Kelly’s tenure to end this soon when that interview dropped. Marcus Freeman is still just 35-years-old.
But the Fighting Irish also have a foundation in place that they haven’t had when hiring Kelly or previous coaches. Perhaps it’s best to keep the job in house when dealing with the current roster, as well as commits who are looking for some stability after being blindsided by the Kelly news.
Brian Kelly will now be leaving Notre Dame as the winningest coach in the program’s long, illustrious history. But perhaps Marcus Freeman will be the right guy to hold things together for the foreseeable future.
He’ll likely have a shot to prove himself in an interim role for the time being, at the very least.