December 20

God, Country, Notre Dame Door

Walk through the “God, Country, Notre Dame” door of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart with Marcus Freeman, the Dick Corbett Head Football Coach.

“When I arrived at Notre Dame a little less than a year ago, this was one place that I was able to connect with immediately. Stepping anywhere near the Basilica brings me to a place of peace, but this door in particular is one spot that speaks to me. Each of these words — God, Country, Notre Dame — hold a special place in my heart, and when I pass through this door, I am immediately grateful for all of the blessings they represent that have brought me to this University.”

So in this season of Advent, as we come together to celebrate Christ’s birth, think of your places of belonging. How do they allow for reflection, humility and gratitude, serving as reminders of where you’ve been and what you’re striving toward?


  1. Beautiful. Marcus Freeman is more than a football coach, he is a mirror reflecting the values of Notre Dame!

  2. Beautifully said by the new Head Football Coach if Notre Dame! The team, the university and the fans are in good hands with this sincere man of faith.

  3. True spirit of Notre Dame . Sorry blessed to have Someone who brings back our love of Notre Dame, our roots and our love of Our Lady . I for one am more proud of Notre Dame than I have been in a long time. Thank you Marcus Freeman fir the reminder of what Notre Dame stands for .

  4. Dear Coach Freeman,
    Thank you for sharing your journey of faith with God and for leading young men and women to Him. May your family know His presence during this Holy Season and always. Merry Christmas and welcome to Notre Dame!

  5. Wonderful reflection, Coach. So happy and proud to have you as our head football coach, and your words show me the deep feeling you have for our university. I wish you continued success.

  6. Coach Freeman, thank you for your example – It seems like you are first a Man of Faith, then a Man of Family, next a Man of Service, and finally a Man of Football. I congratulate and appreciate you for your priorities, and pray for blessings and peace for you and yours. Merry Christmas!

  7. May God Bless you and your family. Thank you for the thoughtful words. May everyday bring you and your family joy, happiness , and great health.

  8. We are thrilled to have a Man of God ;in Marcus- leading this football team into a new era‼️ May God richly bless you and your loved ones this Holy holiday season…🎄with love from the Witte family in Northern Kentucky

  9. I am grateful that you are the head coach at such a wonderful university. Thank you for your loyalty to your family, country, and of course Notre Dame. I wish you much success.

  10. So happy you are part of our Notre Dame Family and the leader of our football team Marcus. ND is more than football for me, it was the birth of my adult spiritual life, but Notre Dame football is the great worldly entrance to Notre Dame. It is so blessed with your leadership.

  11. Coach Freeman — my eyes filled with tears and my heart swelled with passion as I watched this video. As a US Navy veteran of nearly 30 years, as a Notre Dame Alumni, and the father of three Notre Dame graduates all connected with the military or the Congregation of Holy Cross, I too feel a special connection to that God, Country, Notre Dame Door at the Basilica. The University of Notre Dame has made an incredible statement with an INCREDIBLE LEADER in having Marcus Freeman lead this football team. The impact you have made and the impact you WILL MAKE on the fans, the students, and of course the PLAYERS will be one that lasts a lifetime — not just a season or two. Your commitment in all facets of your life is Fantastic! I also say thanks to your Father and Mother for the service to our nation with the USAF! Merry Christmas! Go Irish!

  12. I am so happy Coach that you and your family are part of the Notre Dame community. I also love that sacred door. As I am sure you have heard “The two hardest jobs in America are the US Presidency & the head football coach at Notre Dame”. Good luck in the Sonoran Valley. My younger brother (a huge Irish fan & his girlfriend) will be there. ☘️🏈 Patrick ND ‘72

  13. It is reaffirming to know all those who are a part of the Notre Dame Program will be led by a man who walks in faith. God’s Blessings to Coach Freeman, his family and the entire Notre Dame community during this joyful time of waiting.

  14. GOD, COUNTRY, MARCUS FREEMAN, we are in Good Hands….Happy Holidays to the Notre Dame Family….Go IRISH!!!!

  15. YOU are HOME! You will make us all proud that you are a part of our Notre Dame family…God be with you! Merry Christmas to you, your family and your team!

  16. Thank you Coach Freeman for a beautiful reflection. Your sincerity is readily apparent; it has been quite some time since we have had a head football coach who is so genuine. We are lucky to have you as part of the Notre Dame family.

  17. First and foremost, thank you for saying yes when you accepted jobs at Notre Dame.
    Your beautiful family is a blessing to all of us Domers…..7 in our nuclear family.
    We wish you could have known Father Ted …..a humble and kind priest, and innate leader at ND.
    Best wishes for a blessed Christmas season and 2022.
    Marilyn and Frank Woidat 53′

  18. Dear Coach:

    We at the Basilica are so thrilled to see you highlight one of the beautiful spots in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. It is clear that you understand that this is so much more than about football for your team and young students. God bless you and your family. Please bring your players to the Basilica for a visit!

  19. I could not add anything better than all the sincere remarks already spoken above.
    I wish Marcus and his family many blessings from God as he pursues his work at Notre Dame.

  20. Coach Freeman’s reflection has inspired me as Notre Dame did in the years I was a student there.
    Notre Dame has been a way of life – a family connection that forever inspires, forever comforts and
    forever motivates to live life to its fullest and to its highest standards. Coach Freeman understands and embraces the Notre Dame spirit. I wish him and his beautiful family many blessings from our Blessed Mother that shines ever bright on the Golden Dome.

  21. Marcus-welcome to ND and congrats on your new role! We are very excited to have you here and know that God has a special plan for you and your precious family! Thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to share this lovely reflection! God bless, Merry Christmas, and GO IRISH☘️🎄🙏🏼👍🏼!

  22. What a man! His beliefs are very much in line with ND ideology, Catholicism, and the love of God, Country snd man.

    Thank you Coach!

  23. Thank you, Marcus Freeman for responding to God’s Grace and coming to Notre Dame. No coach has been received like you have since the great Lou Holtz. I took the time to go to uTube and watch the announcement of Coach Holtz back in1986; I see many similarities. I hope you invite Lou back to the campus. A “pep” talk from him before the Fiesta Bowl would have lots of significance. My family were at that Fiesta Bowl in 1989 and it was an experience we all carry with us through life. We had so many great experiences. They can be summed up in my 11 year old daughter Kelly’s (class of ‘00) request to me as the shimmering gold helmets ran on the the field “ Dad we have to do this more often!”

  24. Your beautiful reflection on the side door to the Basilica brought tears to my eyes. Tears of Thanksgiving for the faith in God and love for country and ND that my Dad (Class of ‘45 and Navy ROTC) instilled in us. I am so happy that you and your family have been welcomed by our ND family, and we hope you will have a long, successful and very happy time here.

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