By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (CBS/AP) — The University of Notre Dame officially introduced Marcus Freeman as its new head football coach on Monday.

Freeman has only been in South Bend 11 months, after serving one year as defensive coordinator. The first-time head coach got choked up as he talked about his opportunity.

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“Thank you for making a decision and believing in a 35-year-old first-time head coach, and I vow to work tirelessly to never disappoint you,” Freeman said.

At 11-1, Freeman and company are still alive to make the four-team college football playoff.

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His first game comes next month when the Fighting Irish face Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl.

Though Freeman will become one of the youngest head coaches in Notre Dame history, he has dramatically impacted the program since arriving before the start of the season. The Irish held their final four opponents to a combined 23 points, and the program is also putting the finishing touches on its first top-five class since 2013 thanks in large part to Freeman’s leadership on the recruiting trail.

Freeman replaces Brian Kelly, who moved to Louisiana State University after becoming the winningest coach in school history earlier this season, surpassing Knute Rockne. In 12 seasons with the Fighting Irish, Kelly is 113-40, including the current run of five straight double-digit victory seasons.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

CBS 2 Chicago Staff