Notre Dame announced last week that athletic director Jack Swarbrick would be stepping down from his position in 2024, and much like many others, the news came as a shocker to Fighting Irish football coach Marcus Freeman. Swarbrick has held the AD position at Notre Dame for 15 years, and he will be replaced by NBC Sports Group chairman and Notre Dame alumnus Pete Bevacqua. 

"I just did not expect it to be last week when we had this conversation," Freeman told the South Bend Tribune. "I was in complete shock."

Swarbrick promoted Freeman from defensive coordinator to head coach after Brian Kelly abruptly departed for LSU following the 2021 season. Freeman hadn't been a head coach at the Division l level and served as defensive coordinator at Cincinnati before being hired for the same position with the Irish in 2020. 

"I love Jack Swarbrick," Freeman said. "I've always told him he took a chance on me. That's a personal touch to me that I'm always forever in debt to him and Father John [Jenkins] for taking a chance. They didn't have to do this, taking a chance on a first-year head coach, never been a head coach."

Bevacqua, a 1993 Notre Dame graduate, will join the athletic department in July as a special assistant for athletics to Notre Dame president Reverend John Jenkins. He will work with Swarbrick directly in his new role, learning the ropes until the transition is complete next year.

Swarbrick played an instrumental role in the upcoming expansion of the College Football Playoff, which will grow from four to 12 teams in 2024. He served on the CFP's management committee, along with the commissioners from the 10 FBS conferences, which helped oversee the field expansion.