|BEFORE ROCKNE AT NOTRE DAME: Impression and Reminiscence
by Chet Grant
Synopsis: Chet Grant was truly a unique figure in the history of Notre Dame football and so it stands to reason that his books would be unique also. Considering Knute Rockne's almost mythic stature at Notre Dame, most people believe that its athletic tradition, its famed fighting spirit and its football team began with his coaching career. Not so, says the feisty Mr. Grant.
As former ND coach Dan Devine says in the book's introduction: "All-American athletes, forward passes, and even a Western Championship preceded the great man at Notre Dame. Fred Hering (early player, coach and the Father of Mother's Day), Red Salmon, and Fred Miller came alive again, but most of all, Chet gives us a look at the origins of the Notre Dame mystique and the tradition of greatness that have followed the Fighting Irish teams for more than 90 years now."
The author: Chet Grant, who came to South Bend at the age of 10, grew up almost in the shadow of the Golden Dome. In his teen years, he witnessed many sporting events on the campus and at eighteen years old became the sports editor for the South Bend Tribune. Later, he enrolled at the university and was the quarterback for Gipp's 1920 team (coached by Rockne) and later coached the running backs for Elmer Layden's team from 1934 to 1940. He wrote his own newsletter during the Leahy years, and was the curator for the International Sports and Games Collection at the Notre Dame Archives. Until his passing in 1985, Chet was considered the authority on Notre Dame football history.
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