Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly, 59, might have just made a slip of the tongue that could have revealed who will follow him as the head coach of the Irish. Kelly appeared on Episode 2 of NBC Sports' "Race in America: A Candid Conversation," and referenced Notre Dame defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman's coaching future at the 47:07-minute mark. (H/T to John Kennedy of Always Irish)
"My defensive coordinator is black, and he's going to be the next head coach," Kelly said while on a panel with Steph Curry, Dell Curry, Vince Carter, Jimmy Rollins, Justin Tuck, CC Sabathia and Kyle Rudolph. "This is not about color or race. This is about the things that he just talked about. Steph talked about the important things to be a CEO and understanding how to make people around you better."
It's unclear whether Kelly was referencing Freeman's future as a head coach in college football in general or if he meant that Freeman would ultimately be his successor at Notre Dame. No matter what he meant, Freeman is certainly and up-and-comer in the coaching industry. The former Ohio State linebacker joined the Ohio State staff as a graduate assistant in 2010 after spending one year in the NFL. He quickly moved up the coaching ladder to become the co-defensive coordinator at Purdue in 2016 and full-time defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Cincinnati from 2017-20.