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Former All-American, NFL linebacker James Laurinaitis to enter coaching at Notre Dame

The former Ohio State 'backer will leave his media career to join his best friend Marcus Freeman's staff.

Former All-American and NFL linebacker James Laurinaitis will enter coaching at Notre Dame, he announced on his radio show on Monday.

In addition to co-hosting Bishop and Laurinaitis on 97.1 The Fan in Columbus, Laurinaitis also provided color commentary of Big Ten games on BTN. But the former Ohio State linebacker had been feeling the pull of coaching for years now, and Marcus Freeman's hiring at Notre Dame provided him the opportunity. 

“I’ve been poking around with the idea of coaching for a couple years now, and had tried a couple times here locally, and for whatever reason, the situation just didn’t come about,” Laurinaitis said. “So with your best friend getting the head coaching job, it’s a pretty unique situation and a pretty awesome opportunity to go up there and get started in the profession.”

Freeman and Laurinaitis played linebacker together for Jim Tressel at Ohio State, finishing their respective careers in 2008. But while Freeman's NFL career concluded after just a season and he was into coaching by 2010, Laurinaitis' career lasted much longer. A three-time consensus All-American and the only player in Big Ten history to win the conference's Defensive Player of the Year twice, he was a second round selection of the St. Louis Rams and played through 2016, at which he point he launched his media career.

“I know the time is obviously intense," he said on the show. "Thankfully I have a very supporting and loving wife who has been pushing me to do this for quite frankly, a couple years. Every time I bring it up to her, ‘What do you think?’ She’d say ‘Sooner or later, you’re gonna just look back and regret it.’ So I'm glad she’s continued to push me to challenge myself.”

Laurinaitis will finish out the week in Columbus before returning to duty in South Bend. He will hold an unspecified off-the-field coaching role. 

His first game as a coach will be.... at Ohio State. 

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.