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Notre Dame’s Marcus Freeman flips script on reporter who coaches son in flag football, during press conference

Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman was able to play role reversal with a member of the media earlier this week.

Tim O’Malley, a writer for Notre Dame’s football program, coaches Freeman’s son, Nico, in flag football. Nico was playing in the second-third-grade championship game earlier this week when two plays did not go their way, so the Notre Dame coach put O’Malley to the test.

Freeman pressed O’Malley about his team not scoring twice in the red zone and a trick play that had gone awry.


Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman during the Aer Lingus College Football Classic match between Notre Dame and Navy Midshipmen at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

“Two trips to the red zone, zero points. One play was a reverse pass that was intercepted in the red zone. Thoughts on the red zone play calling?” Freeman asked.

“They were attacking the run so much with Nico and Nolan, I thought I could drop one over the head,” the reporter answered.

But Freeman was not finished. Apparently, his son had scored a touchdown that had been called back because he had been wearing only one flag instead of the required two.

Marcus Freeman vs Ohio State

Marcus Freeman of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish reacts against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the second half at Notre Dame Stadium on September 23, 2023, in South Bend, Indiana. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

“Whose responsibility is it to make sure the young man has two flags on?” Freeman asked.

“I think it would be the guy in the huddle, which would be me,” O’Malley began. “But you might be able to blame Coach Staley on the sideline.”

Freeman was not a fan of the answer.

“Oh, you’re passing blame! Come on, Tim! You gotta own it now!”

Another reporter chimed in on O’Malley’s coaching.

“I thought Tim’s game plan was good. They just didn’t always execute,” the other report said, garnering laughter from Freeman.

Marcus Freeman reacts

Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Marcus Freeman reacts during a college football game against the Ohio State Buckeyes on September 23, 2023, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. (Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


The 14th-seeded Irish host Pittsburgh on Saturday, so Freeman has his coach hat back on after playing reporter for a couple minutes.

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