UND Staff

Marcus Freeman

Bob Hinton Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers



Hometown Huber Heights, Ohio
High School Wayne High School
College Ohio State (2007, B.S.; 2011, M.S.)
Wife Joanna
Children Vinny, Siena, Gino, Nico, Capri and Rocco


2004-08 Ohio State Linebacker
2009 Chicago Bears Linebacker
Buffalo Bills Linebacker
Houston Texans Linebacker


2005 Ohio State (Alamo)
2006 Ohio State (Fiesta)
2007 Ohio State (BCS National Championship Game)
2008 Ohio State (BCS National Championship Game)


2010 Ohio State Graduate Assistant
2011-12 Kent State Linebackers
2013-15 Purdue Linebackers
2016 Purdue Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
2017-20 Cincinnati Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers


2010 Ohio State (Sugar)
2012 Kent State (GoDaddy.com)
2018 Cincinnati (Military)
2019 Cincinnati (Birmingham)
2020 Cincinnati (Peach)


  • In 2020, the Bearcats (9-1) earned a bid to the Peach Bowl as the No. 8-ranked team in the nation and won the American Athletic Conference Championship, the program’s first outright league title since 2009, when Cincinnati’s head coach was Brian Kelly 
  • Cincinnati’s defense ranked in the Top 20 nationally in several categories for 2020-21, including being ranked 13th in total defense (324.6 yards per game) and eighth in scoring defense (16.8 points per game) among all FBS teams 
  • In addition, the Bearcats were third in team passing efficiency defense (101.25), 14th in rushing defense (111.1 yards per game), 15th in red zone defense (0.735), 17th in fourth down defense (0.375 rate), 16th in team sacks (3.00 per game) and 10th in turnovers gained (21)
  • Standout Bearcat cornerback Ahmad Gardner garnered multiple All-America selections, being named to the FWAA and USA TODAY first teams, in addition to the Associated Press, AFCA and The Athletic second teams 
  • Gardner was also named first team All-AAC 
  • Coached the Bearcats to back-to-back 11-win seasons in 2018 and 2019, the 2019 American Athletic Conference East Division Championship and consecutive bowl-game wins in the 2018 Military Bowl and 2019 TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl
  • The Bearcats finished atop the 2019 AAC ranks in scoring defense for the second-straight season and ranked among the league’s top three in rushing and total defense
  • Cincinnati led the American in 2018 in rushing defense, scoring defense and total defense and ranked among the Top-15 in the NCAA FBS in all three categories 
  • Joined the Bearcats staff after a four-year stint at Purdue. He coached linebackers all four seasons and served as the Boilermakers co-defensive coordinator in 2015
  • Turned Purdue’s linebacking corps from one of the biggest question marks to one of its strengths during his time there
  • Coached Markus Bailey who was an Honorable Mention All-Big Ten selection in 2016 
  • Bailey led the Boilermakers with 97 total tackles, 61 solo stops, and four interceptions in 2016 after starting in 12 games
  • Jimmy Herman earned Purdue’s Guy “Red” Mackey Award and the Noble E. Kizer Award, for exemplifying the overall success of the University’s intercollegiate athletics program and earning the highest GPA among football players over the 2016 calendar year, respectively
  • Herman posted 138 tackles over his final two seasons
  • Ja’Whaun Bentley, a USA Today Freshman All-American in 2014, averaged 6.7 tackles per game under Freeman’s coaching and was voted a captain by his teammates prior to the 2015 season 
  • Danny Ezechukwu broke out with a 43-tackle season as a redshirt freshman in 2014 and followed it up with 79 stops in 2015, the most by any of Purdue’s linebackers and second on the team 
  • Ezechukwu added 52 stops in 2016, finishing among the top-four tacklers on the team.
  • Freeman coached linebackers at Kent State from 2011-12
  • Under Freeman’s direction, inside linebacker Luke Batton earned second team All-Mid-American Conference honors in 2012 after finishing with 143 total tackles, including 80 solo stops
  • Outside linebacker C.J. Malauulu was a third team all-conference selection in 2012, recording 72 total tackles
  • The pair swapped places on the all-conference team in 2011, with Malauulu garnering second team recognition and Batton third team
  • Freeman started his coaching career as a graduate assistant coach at his alma mater, Ohio State, in 2010 and the Buckeyes went 12-1 with a victory in the Sugar Bowl
  • A four-year letterwinner for the Buckeyes from 2004 to 2008, Freeman played under Luke Fickell and earned second team All-Big Ten honors in 2008 while helping lead Ohio State to four conference titles, three BCS bowls and two trips to the national title game during his career
  • He played in the 2009 Senior Bowl and was a fifth-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears, spending time with the Bears, Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans before a medical condition ended his playing career
  • A 2007 Ohio State graduate, he earned Academic All-Big Ten and academic all-district honors 
  • In 2011, he earned a master’s degree in sports management from Ohio State
  • He graduated from Wayne High School in Huber Heights, Ohio, and was a Parade All-American