Marcus Freeman opens up about his conversations with mentor Jim Tressel
Former longtime Ohio State coach Jim Tressel has served as a sounding board for Marcus Freeman during his first season as Notre Dame’s head coach.
It’s been a difficult transition for Freeman and the Irish, who are now 3-3 on the season following a stunning loss to Stanford over the weekend.
On Monday, Freeman shared some details about his conversations with Tressel.
“Some are football,” he said. His opinion. I respect his opinion. But more so just that, ‘Hey, you’ll be fine, man.’ He struggled his first year.”
Marcus Freeman on weekly conversations with his mentor Jim Tressel: "Some are football. His opinion. I respect his opinion. But more so just that 'Hey, you’ll be fine, man.' He struggled his first year." #OhioState went from 7-5 in 2001 to 14-0 in 2002. #NotreDame
— Mike BerardinoNDI (@MikeBerardino) October 17, 2022
Freeman played linebacker at Ohio State for Tressel during his tenure with the Buckeyes.
In Tressel’s first year at Ohio State, he was taking over for the departed John Cooper. The Buckeyes went 7-5 that season, which included losses to UCLA, Wisconsin, Illinois and South Carolina.
Tressel, of course, went on to have one of the most successful coaching stints in the history of college football. The Buckeyes went 14-0 the next season, winning the national title. He rattled of 9 straight BCS Bowl appearances, including 2 more trips to the National Championship game.
Freeman will hope to have a similar turnaround at Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish are coming off of 5 straight 10-win seasons, which is the longest streak in program history. That streak is almost certainly coming to an end this year, but the Irish can still finish the season on a positive note headed into next year.
Notre Dame hosts UNLV on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET.