Marcus Freeman shares his heritage experience at Notre Dame's Asian American Distinguished Speaker Series
SOUTH BEND, Ind-- Notre Dame is honoring Asian Americans and has football head coach Marcus Freeman speak on his upbringing through his Asian heritage.
"Well I’ve always identified as someone that was mixed race. My father’s African-American, my mother’s Korean," Coach Freeman said.
Growing up in Huber Heights, Ohio, Freeman says he was shaped by more than football.
Speaking at Notre Dame’s Asian-American distinguished speaker series, the 36-year-old coach talked about being raised by parents from two different cultures, highlighting how his Korean heritage on his mother's side helped shape him.
"There was strong influence from both of my parents and I remember my dad was the first one that said you’re going to play football. And my mother got me into taekwondo, which is a mixed martial art and is huge in South Korea. So I did taekwondo from the age of four to twelve," Freeman said.
Freeman says he still embraces his Asian heritage and made sure to create that connection with his players who share the same upbringing.
"Kyle Hamilton, his mother is Korean, his father is African-American. That’s the first thing I did when I became the defensive coordinator here. I called him, I said brother, you’re a brother. I said we’re going to go to a Korean restaurant and eat," Freeman said.
Showing even as head coach, he wants his players shaped by more than football.