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Football Coach Strives to Be a Father First

Marcus Freeman spent years as a coach to watch: a star linebacker at Ohio State who played in the NFL before he emerged as one of the college game’s defensive wizards. It turned out that Freeman’s first head coaching job would be one of the most pressurized gigs in American sports: leading the football program at Notre Dame, which claims 11 national titles.

When the New York Times asked him, “How do you balance this job with six kids, and why do you bring them to practice?” Freeman replied:

There is no balance. There are days I look at my kids and see pictures of them, and I don’t know where time has gone. If there’s a moment in the day that I can spend five minutes with my kids, then I want to. If my wife can bring my kids to the office and I can see them and hug them, then I want to.

The other part is that I want our players to see Coach Freeman as Dad Freeman or Husband Freeman. They’re not always going to remember what I said about football. They’re going to remember how they saw Coach Freeman as a father and as a husband, and that’s really important.

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