The Bearcats were third in pass efficiency defense, 14th in run defense and tied for 10th in takeaways.
Freeman will get a chance to face his former team next season. Notre Dame is scheduled to host Cincinnati on Oct. 2.
Before coming to Cincinnati, Freeman spent three seasons at Purdue. He was Penn State’s linebackers coach from 2011-12. He started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Ohio State in 2010.
He played linebacker for Ohio State from 2004-08.
“The work Marcus has done elevating the programs he has been a part of speaks for itself, but equally as important is the exceptional work he has done in building relationships with his staff and players,” Kelly said. “Marcus was our top choice to become our next defensive coordinator, and we are pleased he and his family will be joining us at Notre Dame.”