IT’S NOT ABOUT THE FUTURE….
Notre Dame fans all over got the shock of the year when this past Monday night, news broke via Twitter, Brian Kelly, left the Irish in the dust to become the new Head Coach at LSU. It was a shock, as no one had expected. What cut even deeper to the team, was they not only heard the news on Twitter, but then shortly thereafter a TeamWorks message from their now former head coach.
“Men...Let me first apologize for the late-night text and, more importantly, for not being able to share the news with you in person that I will be leaving Notre Dame. I am flying back to South Bend tonight to be able to meet with you in the morning, but news broke late today, and I am sorry you found out through social media or news reports. I will have more to share when we meet with you tomorrow at 7 a.m., but for now, just know that my love for you is limitless and I am so proud of all that you have accomplished. Our program is elite because of your hard work and commitment, and I know that will continue. I will share more in the morning when we meet.”
A press conference was quickly called for the next day when Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick confirmed the news. Swarbrick did not name a new head coach but confirmed that a search would take place. He said that he was confident in the staff that was on hand and instructed them to stay out on the road recruiting.
Later that morning, a video was released that a player had taken during Kelly’s meeting. He was in and out of that meeting with those players in under 4 minutes. Not much new information was shared with the team. Kelly quickly departed and apparently headed to the airport. We all know how Wednesday morning turned out.
BUT…. Wednesday night changed everything. All the talk on social media had been players calling for Marcus Freeman and Tommy Rees to be retained as Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator. We wouldn’t have to wait long. Notre Dame Football released a video that made fans very happy. Offensive Coordinator Tommy Rees was shown speaking to the players and said, “I’m f*****g staying.” The message that Coach Rees kept saying over and over to the players was that it was important for him to get in front of the team, and that he wanted them to hear it from him. He was staying. There was quite a different reaction to Rees’ speech than that other message the team had received on Monday.
What Irish fans were waiting for finally happened this morning. Coach Balis (another ESSENTIAL part of the Notre Dame Football team) had called an early morning practice at the stadium. A workout. When the video showed, you saw Kurt Hinish kneeling and looking at the camera, as if he knew what was about to happen. As Coach Balis exuberantly exclaimed, “Your new HEAD COACH!!” Marcus Freeman ran into the room, his arms exuberantly waving in the air. The atmosphere in that locker room was electric.
But NDFIM was NOT DONE YET….
An emotional clip of Coach Freeman’s first speech to HIS team was released. The message of Coach Freeman was how powerful the team’s voices are. He mentioned how Jack Swarbrick and Father Jenkins gave him this opportunity because of the team’s voice. He said how powerful the team’s voices are. He said, “This isn’t about the future. Let’s be clear. That’s a disservice to this group. This isn’t about the future. This isn’t about next year. This isn’t about 5 years from now, It’s about RIGHT now. It’s about finishing this season off the right way for you Seniors. Everybody clear? I don’t care about anything else. We all got a job to do. I care about us, and this group, and this coaching staff, and this football family, and finishing this thing off the way we have too.”
Now? We know that all of College Football is going to be glued to their television sets on Saturday. Rooting for Georgia. Rooting for Houston. Rooting for Iowa. But most of all? ROOTING FOR NOTRE DAME!
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