Showing posts with label black college football coaches. Show all posts
Showing posts with label black college football coaches. Show all posts

Saturday, December 04, 2021


Marcus Freeman, one of the rising young stars in the profession and architect of the highly-ranked Fighting Irish defense, today has been named the 30th Dick Corbett Head Football Coach at the University of Notre Dame.

Freeman will be introduced on Monday, December 6 at a 2:00pm ET press conference and will coach the Irish in their upcoming bowl game.

“It is an honor to be named the head coach of Notre Dame Football,” said Freeman. “I am eternally grateful to both Father John Jenkins and Jack Swarbrick for giving me the opportunity to lead the exceptional men who make this program what it is. Notre Dame is a very special place and I look forward to pursuing a national championship with the most outstanding student-athletes, coaches and staff in college football.”

“Marcus Freeman has not only proven himself a superb football coach, he has shown–both in his time at Notre Dame and in my conversations with him this week–that he is a person of highest integrity who cares deeply about our student-athletes and is committed to their success in the classroom as well as on the field,” said University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. “I am excited to welcome him as our new head football coach, and to have his wife, Joanna, and their six beautiful children in the Notre Dame family.”

“Marcus’ ability to connect with people, his fit at Notre Dame and the way he coaches young men set him apart as we went through our search process,” said University Vice President and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick. “I can’t wait to see how the culture created by these remarkable student-athletes continues to grow under the tutelage of Marcus and his staff.”

In his first season with the Irish, he led a transformation on the defensive side of the ball that includes a number of Top-20 national rankings. The Irish rank sixth nationally in interceptions (15) and defensive touchdowns (4), seventh in total sacks (40.0), 11th in turnovers gained (23) and scoring defense (18.2) and 18th in third-down conversion percentage (.329). The 40.0 team sacks is one shy of the program record of 41 from the 1996 season.

Freeman has overseen sophomore Isaiah Foskey’s breakout season as a starter on the defensive line. Foskey has tallied 10.0 sacks this year, fourth-most in program history for a single season. The depth of the Irish defense has been on full display in 2021 as 15 different players have recorded a sack and 21 different players have had a tackle-for-loss. The 15 interceptions are the most in a single season since 2014 when the Irish had 16. In November, the Irish had three-straight games without allowing a touchdown for the first time since 2012.

Prior to coming to South Bend, Freeman spent the previous four seasons as the defensive coordinator at Cincinnati. During his time with the Bearcats, he was named the 2020 Defensive Coordinator of the Year and 2020 Broyles Award Finalist along with a nominee for the Broyles Award in 2019 and 2018.

Prior to his time at Purdue, Freeman coached linebackers at Kent State from 2011-12, helping develop all-conference selections Luke Batton and C.J. Malauulu.

Freeman started his coaching career as a graduate assistant coach at his alma mater, Ohio State, in 2010 and the Buckeyes went 12-1 with a victory in the Sugar Bowl.

Freeman is just the third Notre Dame head coach to have been selected in the NFL Draft, and is the first since Ara Parseghian was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1947. He is the 23rd Notre Dame head coach to have Division I playing experience and the first since Tyrone Willingham.

During his playing career, Freeman was a four-year letterwinner for the Buckeyes from 2004 to 2008. He played under current Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell and earned second team All-Big Ten honors in 2008 while helping lead Ohio State to four conference titles, three BCS bowls and two trips to the national title game during his career.

He played in the 2009 Senior Bowl and was a fifth-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears, spending time with the Bears, Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans before a medical condition ended his playing career.

Freeman graduated from Ohio State in 2007 and returned to the classroom to earn his master’s degree in 2011.

Sunday, December 11, 2016


USF Director of Athletics Mark Harlan announced today the appointment of Charlie Strong as the fourth head coach in USF football program history.
A two-time Big East Coach of the Year and a vital part of two national championships at the University of Florida, Strong served head coaching stints at the University of Texas (2014-16) and the University of Louisville (2010-13).  Overall, in his 34 seasons as a collegiate coach, Strong spent 15 seasons working in the state of Florida.
“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Charlie, his wife, Vicki, and their children Tory, Hailee and Hope, back to the state of Florida and to our Bulls family,” Harlan said. “Charlie is a tremendous leader and mentor for our student-athletes and a widely-respected coach with a resume full of achievements at the highest levels of college football. He combines a drive to win with great integrity and deep, long-standing connections in the state of Florida.  The future of USF football is very bright under his direction.”
Established as a charismatic leader, strong recruiter and one of the best defensive minds in college football, Strong experienced great success as a defensive coordinator in the SEC for 11 seasons, including helping the University of Florida and head coach Urban Meyer win national championships in 2006 and 2008.
 “I would like to thank President Genshaft and Mark Harlan for their confidence and belief in me,” Strong said. “I am humbled that we have a shared commitment to take this university and this football program to even greater heights.  Some of the best football talent in the country is right here in the Bay Area and throughout the state of Florida, and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work with the young men in the USF football program and build on the strong foundation already in place.”  
As a head coach, Strong led Louisville to back-to-back Big East Championships in 2011 and 2012 and posted a 37-15 record in four seasons leading the Cardinals. He reached a bowl game every season, including a 33-23 victory over Florida in the 2013 Sugar Bowl, completing an 11-2 season. Strong’s 2012 Louisville team finished 13th in the final Top 25 rankings and his 2013 team, which competed in the American Athletic Conference, finished ranked 15th with a 12-1 mark, and posted back-to-back bowl victories for the first time in program history.
“We are especially excited to welcome Charlie Strong to the University of South Florida,” said USF System President Judy Genshaft. “He joins our football program at an incredibly exciting time, and we look forward to seeing him build on our ongoing foundation and momentum. The board of trustees and I believe he brings outstanding leadership and experience, and is sure to be a tremendous resource to the entire USF System.”
Strong departed Louisville for the University of Texas in 2014.  At Texas, he rebuilt the roster, put his stamp on the culture and elevated the program’s infrastructure while posting a 16-21 record, leading the Longhorns to one bowl game in three seasons.  His tenure at Texas included wins over No. 10 Oklahoma (2015), No. 12 Baylor (2015) and No. 10 Notre Dame (2016) while securing two Top-10 ranked recruiting classes.  Overall, as a head coach, Strong has coached in six bowl games (3-3) during his career.
Strong also held positions on the coaching staffs at Florida, Texas A&M (1985), Southern Illinois (1986-87), Mississippi (1990), Notre Dame (1995-98) and South Carolina (1999-2002).
He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Florida in 1983.  Strong spent 15 seasons as an assistant at Florida over four stints, including seven years as the defensive coordinator, the last five of which were under current Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer.  Strong also served on two of coach Lou Holtz’s staffs, spending the first two years of his Notre Dame tenure under Holtz, as well as four more as defensive coordinator at South Carolina under the Hall of Famer.
From 2003-09, Strong’s defensive units at Florida produced 13 All-Americans and seven first-round NFL Draft picks. His units regularly ranked among the best in the nation statistically and allowed an average of just 17.6 points per game over that span, which ranked ninth in the country.
A native of Batesville, Ark., Strong was a three-year letter winner (1979-81) and three-time all-conference safety at Central Arkansas, which reached the NAIA Playoffs each of his final two seasons. He was also a two-time all-conference performer in track and field and graduated in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in education. Strong was inducted into the Central Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. He and his wife, Vicki, have a son, Tory, and two daughters, Hailee and Hope.
The No. 22/25-ranked Bulls (10-2; 7-1 AAC) will take on South Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl at Legion Field on Dec. 29. Interim Head Coach T.J. Weist will lead the Bulls in the bowl game. USF begins bowl practices on Sunday, Dec. 11 on the USF campus. USF will compete in the program’s eighth bowl game in just its 16th season of FBS football.