Marcus Freeman likes to pull his dark blue New York Yankees cap low, a modest attempt to blend in for a head coach who doesn’t do anonymity well. In father-of-six fashion, the brim is curved instead of flat, perhaps throwing people off to Freeman’s modern look. None of it works, though, whether Freeman is watching a Notre Dame women’s basketball game or getting out of town for a ski weekend.

Marcus Freeman will be seen, whether he wants the gaze or not.

And people have thoughts on what they see, including his father Michael, the retired military man. Michael, not one to hold back opinions, asked his son if he might rethink that headgear choice in public, maybe pick something more on brand. The fact Notre Dame and the Yankees couldn’t be much closer in iconography, well, maybe that point got missed.

No matter. Because Freeman is comfortable with all this extra as he tailors the Notre Dame job to himself. A man with a bespoke wardrobe now looks like a coach beginning to master the fit of his station.

“I’m a lot more comfortable in my position,” Freeman said. “But at the same time, I have a tremendous amount of work like everyone else in our program.”

No Notre Dame head coach is ever truly comfortable in this job, where crisis is only a loss to Stanford away. But as Freeman processed this offseason while heading toward his second spring practice, having a coaching staff behind him that also has his back became paramount. He hopes it can make the difference between a program moving forward and one stuck in neutral.