By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

(AP) — Notre Dame promoted defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to head coach of the Fighting Irish on Friday to replace Brian Kelly.

Freeman, 35, takes over less than a week after Kelly’s surprising and abrupt departure for LSU with the Irish still in contention for the College Football Playoff spot.

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Kelly hired Freeman away from Cincinnati after the 2020 season. The former Ohio State linebacker has spent four seasons with the Bearcats, helping Cincinnati develop into a playoff contender.

In one season at Notre Dame, Freeman helped a team that was expected to be in transition after making the playoff last year go 11-1. He also established himself as a vital recruiter for Notre Dame.

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Notre Dame announced Freeman will be introduced at a new conference on campus Monday.

News that Notre Dame was working toward to make Freeman the head coach broke Wednesday, just two days after word spread that Kelly, Notre Dame’s winningest coach, was leaving the school to join Southeastern Conference power LSU.

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CBS 2 Chicago Staff