With all of the recent additions, it’s pretty apparent that Notre Dame football head coach Marcus Freeman is comfortable with the recent promotions and new hires to the staff. As was pointed out by Mike Berardino of the South Bend Tribune on Twitter, the Irish will have 7 former Cincinnati coaches on the staff, including the head guy himself.
During Freeman’s time with Cincinnati from 2017-2020, the head coach for Notre Dame football personally worked with each of the guys from that former staff. New hires Gino Guidugli as quarterbacks coach and linebackers coach Max Bullough were briefly at Cincinnati with Freeman. Al Washington, Brian Mason, and Mike Mickens were also a part of the Bearcats staff that the coach has familiarity with.
Newly promoted offensive coordinator for the Irish, Gerad Parker, would make the 7th former Bearcats staffer part of this Irish coaching staff. Frankly, I don’t have a problem with any of the coaches and think they all more than deserve a shot to show what they can do. Freeman trusted Mickens and Mason enough to keep/bring them on as he took over, and those two are among the best at their respective jobs.
I’ve said before I don’t think Parker is getting a fair welcome as the head man on the offensive side of the football, given how things played out. However, he has some experience, is excellent on the recruiting trail, and will have better weapons and talent than he had at West Virginia. I’m giving coach Parker the benefit of the doubt to show us why Marcus is so confident in him.
Needless to say, if this thing goes south, it all comes crashing down around coach Freeman. He has hand-picked his team, full of familiarity and old faces, and what happens from here on out is entirely on his shoulders. Forget the negligence shown by the administration in the botched handling of the Andy Ludwig situation; it’s Freeman’s show.
Fair or not, first choice or not, he got his guys. He didn’t branch out to snag Joe Brady or Byron Letfwich or some other proven play-caller. He went with familiarity in the end; regardless of the twists and turns, we’ll see how reuniting the group works for coach Freeman.