July Calendar

July Calendar

 

On this date in Notre Dame Football History:

Sources for the calendar are 100 Years of Notre Dame Football by Gene Schoor, The Fighting Irish 1999 Calendar, Knute Rockne by Francis Wallace, The Notre Dame Football Scrapbook by Cohen, Deutsch and Neft and The Fighting Irish Football Encyclopedia by Mike Steele, Shake Down The Thunder by Murray Sperber, One for The Gipper by Patrick Chelland, 75 Years of Notre Dame All-Americans and The Notre Dame Football Encyclopedia.

 

July 1

Irish Legends

Neil Worden, fullback, (1951-53) 5'11", 185 lbs. is born in 1931

Worden had no problem living up to his nickname, "Bull." He was a rugged, nearly unstoppable running and scoring machine who packed a lot of power into a relatively small package. Worden, a Milwaukee native, was a starter for head coach Frank Leahy in his first season on the Notre Dame varsity, and he scored 4 touchdowns in his first game, a 30-9 victory over Purdue. That year he was the team's leading rusher and scorer (181 carries for 676 yards, 48 points).

As a junior in 1952, Worden was the team's second-leading rusher with 504 yards on 150 carries, and he again led the team in scoring, with 60 points. Notre Dame finished third in the final Associated Press poll, thanks in part to the dependable Worden. The following season he led the Notre Dame offense during a spectacular season. The Fighting Irish were 9-0-1 and ranked second in the final poll. Worden led the team in rushing with 859 yards on 145 carries (nearly 6 yards per run), and in scoring, with 66 points. His career total of 2,039 yards was, at the time, third in school history. As of 2000, he ranked tenth. The Philadelphia Eagles selected him in the first round of the 1954 NFL draft after his teammates, Johnny Lattner (Pittsburgh) and Art Hunter (Green Bay), had already been selected. Worden played two seasons in Philadelphia (1954 and 1957) before retiring from pro football.

 

Dave Waymer, Defensive back/Flanker (1976-79), 6'3", 188 lbs. is born in 1958.

Waymer was an exceptional wide receiver and defensive back at West Charlotte High School, in North Carolina. He excelled at both positions in college as well. As a freshman he split time between flanker and cornerback, but in 1977, as a sophomore, he started at flanker and made 10 receptions for 164 yards. One catch resulted in a 68-yard scoring play in a 69-14 victory over Georgia Tech. Later that season, in the Cotton Bowl, Waymer was good for 3 catches for 38 yards as Notre Dame defeated Texas, 38-10, and was subsequently named national champion. He was moved back to cornerback for his final two college seasons, and as a junior he made 51 tackles and had 3 interceptions. Waymer was a team tri-captain as a senior, when he made 41 tackles and had 4 interceptions.

The New Orleans Saints selected Waymer in the second round of the 1980 NFL draft, and he played the first ten years of his thirteen-year career in New Orleans.

 

July 2

Irish Lore

Few Notre Dame fans realize how successful the school's football fortunes were prior to Knute Rockne taking hold of the team in 1918. Check out the winning percentages of these coaches who preceded Rockne this century: Patrick O'Dea, from 1900 to 1901 (.750); James Faragher, from 1902 to 1903 (.833); Louis "Red" Salmon, in 1904 (.625); Henry J. McGlew, in 1905 (.556); Thomas Barry, from 1906 to 1907 (.893); Victor M. Place, in 1908 (.889); Frank "Shorty" Longman, from 1909 to 1910 (.857); John L Marks from 1911 to 1912 (.933); and Jesse Harper, from 1913 to 1917 (.863). From 1918 to 1931, Rockne's winning percentage was .881.

 

July 3

Larry Williams, Guard/Offensive tackle (1981-84), 6'6", 276 lbs. is born in 1963.

Williams arrived at Notre Dame in the fall of 1981 weighing in at 225 pounds, and he gained more than 50 pounds in his four years in college. The Santa Ana, California, native not only got bigger during his time in South Bend, he also got better-much better.

Williams earned a letter as a freshman reserve and won a starting tackle spot as a sophomore. He injured his ankle during his junior season and missed the final two games of the year, but still played well enough to make second-team All-American. As a senior, Williams was switched to guard, and he responded with his second consecutive All-American season.

The Cleveland Browns selected Williams in the tenth round of the 1985 NFL draft. He played for Cleveland from 1986 through 1988, the San Diego Chargers in 1989, the New Orleans Saints in 1990 and 1991, and the New England Patriots in 1992.

 

July 4

Irish Lore

This is one Notre Dame record that likely won't ever fall. The 1905 team set the single-game record for most points scored in a 142-0 obliteration of American Medical. Notre Dame racked up an amazing 121 points in an abbreviated first half (only twenty-five minutes). Keep in mind, though, that this was a time when the scoring team was still able to receive the kickoff after scoring. One suspects Notre Dame played little defense that first half.

 

July 5

Irish Legend

George Kunz, Defensive tackle/Tight end/Offensive tackle (1966-68),6'5", 240 lbs. is born in 1947

After an inauspicious start at Notre Dame, Kunz, from Arcadia, California, settled in to become one of the best linemen in the school's history, making the starting unit at right defensive tackle in his sophomore season. That wasn't just any Notre Dame team: Coach Ara Parseghian's 1966 team went 9-0-1 and took the national championship. Unfortunately, Kunz was injured in the second game of the season, a 35-7 victory over Northwestern, and missed the rest of the year. At the beginning of his junior season he was moved to tight end, where he caught 7 passes for 101 yards in the first two games of the season. Then Parseghian began to tinker with his lineup, moving Bob Kuechenberg from offensive tackle to defensive end, which opened up a hole that Kunz was called on to fill.

It was a smooth transition for Kunz, who spent the rest of his career at tackle. As a senior in 1968 he was a cocaptain and earned consensus All-American status. Kunz was also an Academic All-American and won a post-graduate scholarship from the NCAA and the National Football Foundation. The Atlanta Falcons used the second overall pick in the 1969 NFL draft to select him. Kunz played ten seasons in the NFL-1969 to 1974 in Atlanta, and 1975 to 1977 and 1980 in Baltimore.

 

July 6

Irish Legend

Frank Szymanski, Center (1943-44), 6'0", 190 lbs. is born in 1923.

It's safe to say that not many players in Notre Dame history had as unusual a career as Frank Szymanski. A former all-state tackle at Northwestern High School in Detroit, Michigan, Szymanski began his career in promising fashion, seeing plenty of field time as a second-string center on the national championship team that went 9-1 in 1943. After the season he entered the navy's V-12 program and was not expected to play for Notre Dame in 1944. But he returned to South Bend after a case of rheumatic fever granted him a medical discharge from Naval Pre-Flight School. He was back at Notre Dame in the fall and back on the football team in time to be part of a 59-10 loss to eventual national champion Army. Notre Dame won its final three games by a combined score of 70-7, and finished the year at 8-2.

In the spring of 1945, Szymanski was named Notre Dame's captain for the upcoming season, but that never came to pass-he had signed a professional contract with the Chicago Bears. Although he thought the contract would not come into effect until after his senior season was completed, it was enough to end his college career. The NFL later agreed with the player's interpretation, ruling that Szymanski was not a free agent because he had a year of eligibility past the 1945 season, so the contract was not binding. However, that summer the Big Ten issued a ruling stating that any player who "enters into an agreement or signs a contract" with a professional team is ineligible to play in college. It was within Szymanski's rights to appeal the rule, but he chose not to; he didn't want to "embarrass the university," he said, and resigned his captain's post and position on the team.

Szymanski was still a hot commodity in the NFL. His hometown Detroit Lions selected him in the first round of the 1945 draft, and he played for the Lions until the end of the 1947 season. The next year he played for the Philadelphia Eagles, and in 1949 for the Chicago Bears.

 

July 7

Irish Legend

Wes Pritchett Linebacker (1985-'88),  6'6", 251 lbs. is born in 1966.

Atlanta native Pritchett was a giant linebacker whose emotional style of play rubbed off on his teammates. He won a starting spot as a junior and made 70 tackles. The following season Pritchett led the Fighting Irish in tackles, with 112, as the team went 12-0 and won a national championship under head coach Lou Holtz. Pritchett was a second-team All-American, and was invited to play in both the East-West Shrine Game and the Hula Bowl. The Miami Dolphins selected him in the sixth round of the 1989 NFL draft. He played with the Buffalo Bills in 1989 and 1990 and for the Atlanta Falcons in 1991.

 

July 8

Irish Lore

Notre Dame teams were often nicknamed the "Ramblers" during the Knute Rockne era because his teams rambled seemingly everywhere to play top-flight competition -- from Minneapolis to Atlanta, from New York to Los Angeles.

 

July 9

Irish Legend

Vagas Ferguson of Richmond, Indiana, finished his brilliant career as a halfback in 1979 with a slew of Notre Dame rushing records, including most career yards with 3,472. Ferguson was a pivotal member of the national championship team of 1977 as asophomore, then he put together the first back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons in school history. He was a consensus AD-American as a senior.

 

July 10

Quote, Unquote

"A good tackler will never reach for the ball carrier. He will run directly at him. A favorite phrase that we always give our tacklers is, 'Sprint to him, then sprint through him.'"

--Coach Frank Leahy

 

July 11

Irish Lore

It seems the third time really is the lucky charm for coaches of the Fighting Irish. Frank Leahy won a national championship in his third year at Notre Dame (1943). So did Ara Parseghian (1966). So did Dan Devine (1977). And so did Lou Holtz (1988).

 

July 12

Irish Landmark

The Notre Dame record for highest gain per rushing attempt in  a season was set long ago by none other than the immortal George Gipp. "The Gipper" averaged 8.1 yards per carry in 1920 (827 yards on 102 tries). In 1992, Reggie Brooks came within a whisker of tying George's record with a 8.0 yards per carry. (1,343 yards on 167 carries).

 

 
Irish Lore
 
How much confidence did Notre Dame students have that Knute Rockne would become a magnificent head football coach? Plenty. "Rockne will be quite as successful at the head of the athletic department as he has been as assistant", reads a passage in the 1917-18 edition of the Dome, the Notre Dame student yearbook.

"He has the will to succeed, and his energy and enthusiasm are common knowledge. His popularity is in its infancy."

 

July 14

Quote, Unquote

"The police wouldn't let me down Notre Dame Avenue, nor would they believe I was head coach. I guess I looked too young."

--Terry Brennan, reflecting on his first game as Notre Dame head coach in 1954 at the age of twenty-five.

 

July 15

Irish Lore

Knute Rockne married Bonnie Skiles on this day in 1914. The following account is from Frances Wallace's book Rockne.

Rockne returned to Cedar Point where he did a very surprising thing for a bashful, blushing young man. The records of the parish church of Sts. Peter and Paul in Sandusky, Ohio, declare:

    To Whom It May Concern: Knute Kenneth Rockne and Bonnie Gwendoline Skiles were married by Rev. William F. Murphy on July 15. 1914.                 Witnesses were Chas. Dorais and Marie Balzarina.

Father Murphy, a close friend of the Rocknes thereafter, wrote to Father Cavanaugh: "I can recall Miss Bonnie Gwendoline Skiles calling to see me about the first of July, 1914, to make arrangements for her marriage to Knute K. Rockne. Both were at the time em- ployed at Cedar Point. The Catholic people employed there-and there were a goodly number of students from Notre Dame-were wont to come across Sandusky Bay to attend Divine Services in the church of Sts. Peter and Paul. Among the young Catholic ladies who came regularly to these services was Miss Bonnie G. Skiles, a pious and devout young lady, without ostentation, modest in her ways and manners, capable of winning the hand and heart of the staid and judicious Rockne. Her womanly qualities were of a superior kind. Certainly Miss Bonnie Skiles had no small part in forming the character, as well as sustaining the peerless Rockne in his upward climb to the pinnacle of fame."

 

July 16

Irish Lore

Seven players in Notre Dame history who have worn the number 75 have been named All-Americans. They are: Greg Marx (defensive tackle, 1972); Myron Pottios (guard, 1960); Bob Toneff (tackle, 1951); John Masttangelo (guard, 1946); Larry WIlliams(guard 1983 to 1984); TIffi Grunhard (guard, 1989); and Aaron Taylor (guard, 1992 to 1993).

 

July 17

Irish Legends: Daryle Lamonica and Frank Stams.

Daryle Lamonica, Quarterback/Defensive back/Punter (1960-62), 6'2", 205 Ibs. is born in 1941.

A strong-armed quarterback with good mobility and outstanding leadership abilities is not enough to lead a college football team to victory. If it were, Notre Dame would have done better than 12-18 during Daryle Lamonica's three years of varsity football.

The four-sport star from Clovis High School in Fresno, California, had earned all-state football honors as a senior. Despite throwing for just 1,363 yards and 8 touchdowns in college, Lamonica went on to have a long and prosperous professional career, with nearly 20,000 yards passing and 164 touchdowns.

In 1960, Lamonica took over the quarterback position George Izo vacated, but he wasn't the team's leading passer. George Haffner, who completed 30 of 108 passes, was. Lamonica was just 15 for 31 for 242 yards and 5 interceptions. In the final days of one-platoon football, Lamonica's versatility came in handy. He averaged 37.4 yards per punt and made 33 tackles, broke up 2 passes, and intercepted another as a defensive back. He was also the team's second-leading scorer, with 18 points. The following season, as a junior, Lamonica split time with Frank Budka and completed 20 of 52 passes for 300 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions. He also rushed 44 times for 135 yards and 3 touchdowns, averaged 38.4 yards per punt, and made 29 tackles and had 2 interceptions on defense.

In 1962, Lamonica finally gave the South Bend fans a glimpse of what his future would be. As a full-time starter, he had a primary target in the form of All-American receiver Jim Kelly, who had 41 receptions, and Lamonica completed half of his 128 passes for 821 yards, 6 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions. He also ran 74 times for 145 yards and 4 touchdowns. His time on defense was limited, so Lamonica had only 3 tackles, 1 interception, and 1 pass defended. But he punted a career-high 49 times for an average of 36.5 yards per kick. After the season he was named a third-team All-American.

Lamonica was selected in the twelfth round of the 1963 NFL draft by Green Bay of the NFL and Buffalo of the AFL. In 1967, after four years with the Buffalo Bills, he was traded to the Oakland Raiders, where he blossomed. In his first year playing in the Bay Area, Lamonica not only led the Raiders to the AFL championship, he was named AFL Player of the Year. The following season he led the Raiders to the Super Bowl, where they lost to the Green Bay Packers. For that season Lamonica completed 220 of 425 passes for 3,228 yards and 30 touchdowns. The next year his Raiders were back in the AFL title game, and he was again the AFL Player of the Year after completing 221 of 426 passes for 3,302 yards and 32 touchdowns. After the 1974 season Lamonica retired, but not before throwing for 10.88 miles and 164 touchdowns. During his twelve-year career, he connected on 1,288 of 2,601 passes for 19,154 yards.

The Notre Dame Football Encyclopedia.

Frank Stams, Fullback/Linebacker/Defensive End, (1984-1988), 6'4", 237 lbs. is born in 1965.

Stams, who was recruited to play at Notre Dame by coach Gerry Faust, was an outstanding high school running back. He rushed for more than 2,300 yards at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio. During his first two seasons at Notre Dame he found himself in the offensive backfield, and in 1985, his sophomore season, he started at fullback for Faust. Lou Holtz was named coach before the start of the 1986 season and moved Stams to defense, but in 1986 Stams broke his leg during spring practice and missed virtually the entire fall season. He was back in 1987 and played in eleven games as a backup to outside linebacker Darrell "Flash" Gordon.

After one more position switch, to defensive end in 1988, Stams finally found a home. He started all twelve games and brought with him the quickness and agility that had made him an outstanding rusher. On a very good defense he was a force to be reckoned with: he made 51 tackles and had 7 sacks as Notre Dame went 12-0. Holtz had completed his mission: to bring Notre Dame, which was named national champion, back to national prominence. The Moose Krause Chapter of the National Football Foundation named Stams its Lineman of the Year, and he was a consensus All-American.

The Los Angeles Rams selected the brand-new defensive end in the second round of the 1989 NFL draft. He played with the Rams from 1989 through 1991, with the Cleveland Browns from 1992 through 1994. and with the Carolina Panthers in 1995.

The Notre Dame Football Encyclopedia.

 

July 18

Irish Legend

Greg Marx, Defensive tackle (1970-72), 6'5", 265 lbs. is born in 1950.

Marx, from Redford, Michigan, broke his arm in 1969 and missed the entire season, but he more than made up for it with three fine seasons that accounted for his college career.

In 1970, he started at left tackle and quickly became an integral part of a very strong front four. He made 82 tackles, 8 for losses, and broke up 2 passes. In 1971, as a junior, he played more than 230 minutes at right tackle and made 85 tackles, second-best on the team. Twelve of his stops resulted in losses for Notre Dame's opponents, and he broke up 3 passes. After the season he was named a first-team Academic All-American. He was a cocaptain on the 1972 team and again ranked second in tackles, this time with 96, including a team-high 6 for losses. He also broke up a pass and was named to every prominent All-American team.

Marx's scholarly skills earned him a postgraduate scholarship from the NCAA and the National Football Foundation. The all-around student athlete was on the rosters of both the Hula Bowl and the College Football All-Star Game in 1973. The Atlanta Falcons selected him in the second round of the 1973 NFL draft, making Marx the first Fighting Irish player to be picked that year. He played only one season in Atlanta.

 

July 19

Irish Landmark

The first Notre Dame player ever to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a single season was tailback At Hunter in 1976. The Greenville, North Carolina, native amassed 1,058 yards on 233 carries for a 4.5-yard average. Marchy Schwartz had come close in 1930 (with 927 yards), as did Creighton Miller in 1943 (with 911).

 

July 20

Quote, Unquote

"During eleven years at Notre Dame, we regarded each and every game as a 'big' game and we were able to win a large share of them. But the very success that comes from intense and focused energy can also bring impossible expectations."

-Coach Ara Parseghian

 

July 21

Irish Lore

Amazingly, Joe Montana never garnered much All-American consideration at Notre Dame. He led Notre Dame to the national championship in 1977 but received only honorable mention. The same thing happened again in his senior year, 1978, as Penn State's Cluck Fusina was the first-team All-American quarterback.

 

July 22

Irish Legend

Tim Brown, Flanker/Split end (1984-87), 6'0", 195 lbs. is born in 1966.

Tim Brown was one of the finest players ever to don a Fighting Irish uniform. A phenomenal athlete, he was one of the fastest quarter milers in the country at Dallas's Woodrow Wilson High School, and on the football team he gained more than 4,000 all-purpose yards and was a high school All- American. Still, in his three years of varsity play, his team won only four games.

Brown then moved on to Notre Dame-- where four victories usually come in four weeks. He played for both Gerry Faust and Lou Holtz, and by the time he left to play in the pros he was regarded as one of the most explosive all-around talents in Notre Dame history. His 4.38-second, 40-yard-dash speed and Heisman Trophy may have had something to do with that. In his four years at Notre Dame, the school won twenty-five games. Although this was not close to one of the school's best eras (the team also racked up twenty losses), it was quite an improvement for Brown.

He exhibited his lightning speed as a freshman split end, when he was second on the team in receiving, with 28 receptions for 340 yards. (While at Notre Dame, Brown also lettered as a sprinter on the track team.) The following season, Faust shifted him to flanker, where he came into his own. He led the team with 25 catches for 397 yards and 3 touchdowns and also got a chance to show off his ability as a kick returner, which would become his trademark. He returned 14 kick-offs for 338 yards (an average of 24.1 yards per kick), including a 93-yard touchdown return against Michigan.

In 1986, playing for Holtz, Brown became one of the most feared players in college football. He did it all: 45 receptions for 910 yards and 5 touchdowns; 59 rushes for 254 yards and 2 touchdowns; 25 kickoff returns for 698 yards (an average of 27.9 yards per return); and 2 touchdowns and 2 punt returns for 75 yards. His 176.1 all-purpose yards per game were not only good for third in the nation, it was also a school record, and made Brown, who still had a year to play in college, a first-team All-American.

Brown, however, was even better as a senior. He had 39 receptions for 846 yards and 3 touchdowns; 34 carries for 144 yards and a touchdown; 23 kickoff returns for 456 yards; and 34 punt returns for 401 yards and 3 touchdowns, including two in one game, a 31-8 victory over Michigan State. He finished the season with 1,847 all-purpose yards. In Notre Dame's 35-10 Cotton Bowl loss to Texas A&M, Brown caught 6 passes for 105 yards. He was a unanimous first-team All-American, and was also named the college football Player of the Year by the Walter Camp Foundation, the Sporting News, Football News, and United Press International, as well as the national media and former winners, who honored him with the Heisman Trophy. Syracuse University quarterback Don McPherson finished a distant second in the Heisman voting. Brown also played in the Aloha Bowl, Japan Bowl, and Hula Bowl.

When he graduated the Notre Dame record book read like a Brown biography. His name was at the top of the list for receiving yardage (2,493), kickoff return yardage (1,613), combined kickoff and punt return yardage (2,089), and kickoffs and punts returned for touchdowns (6), and he was third in pass receptions, with 137. Brown was the sixth player picked in the first round of the 1988 NFL draft. He was selected by the Los Angeles Raiders and got right to work. He led the league in kick-off returns (41 for 1,098 yards), snagged 43 passes for 755 yards and 5 touchdowns, returned 49 punts for 444 yards, and set a rookie record for all-purpose yards (2,317). In 1989 a knee injury did something to Brown that defenses couldn't do - stop him. He was limited to one game, but was back in the starting lineup the following season. He started in the Pro Bowl three consecutive seasons, from 1993 to 1995, and also made the team in 1988 and 1991. Brown, who has led the NFL in receiving on several occasions, ranks as number one in Raiders history for receptions, having grabbed 770 passes. He is also the Raiders all-time leader in total yards from scrimmage, punt returns and punt return yardage. He has caught a pass in every game dating back to October 3, 1993. Entering the 2001 season, he ranked number eight on the NFL's all-time receiving list.

Brown is the only Raider to have scored touchdowns four different ways: on a pass reception, a run from scrimmage, a kick- off return, and a punt return. He was still going strong in 2000, leading Oakland with 76 receptions, 1,128 yards receiving, and 11 touchdowns.

 

July 23

Irish Lore

Knute Rockne was an excellent all-around athete. He was a middle-distance runner and a standout pole-vaulter at Notre Dame, in addition to starring as an end on the football team. In fact, after graduating in 1914, Rockne not only became an assistant football coach, but he took over as head track and field coach and retained that position for ten years.

 

July 24

 PETE HOLOHAN,  Flanker (1978-80), 6'5", 228lbs. is born in 1959.

Head coach Dan Devine recruited Holohan to play quarterback-but it didn't work out. He didn't throw passes for the Notre Dame varsity. He caught them.

It should come as no surprise that Holohan was such an adaptive athlete. As a senior at Liverpool High School in New York, he was the first kid in state history to earn all-state honors in both football and basketball. Football was his dominant sport, as he also gained prep All-American honors. In 1978, after a year on the Notre Dame junior varsity, he was moved to flanker as a sophomore. An injury to Tom Domin during the team's training camp opened up a spot for Holohan on the first team, and the impressive athlete took advantage of it. He caught 20 passes for 301 yards as a sophomore, 22 passes for 386 yards as a junior, and 21 passes for 296 as a senior.

In the 1981 NFL draft, Holohan was selected in the seventh round as a tight end by the San Diego Chargers. He turned out to be a steal, outlasting many players picked ahead of him over a twelve-year career. He played for the Chargers (1981-87), the Los Angeles Rams (1988-90), the Kansas City Chiefs (1991), and the Cleveland Browns (1992). He finished his pro career with 363 receptions for 3,981 yards and 16 touchdowns.

 

July 25

Irish Humor

Elmer Layden, famous Four Horsemen and coach of the Irish from 1934-1940, had a younger brother, Mike Layden who was a junior at ND and on the football team. Elmer tells this story:

"During his last two years in college, I bent over backwards not to give the slightest inkling of favortism. I was doing this in spite of the advice of my father, who during Notre Dame football season, frequently managed to visit my sister in South Bend; not only seeing the games, but dropping by at practice sessions. I'll never forget his advice:
"Elmer," he said, "if you want a winning team, play your ten best men and your brother."
 

July 26

Irish Lore

Before every Fighting Irish game, Notre Dame student managers spray a new layer of gold paint on the players' helmets. The paint, which features actual gold dust, is sprayed on Friday nights before home games, and Thursday nights before road games.

 

July 27

Irish Lore

An interesting incident about George Gipp from Murray Sperber's Shake Down The Thunder.

    During George Gipp's lifetime, no one suggested that he was a future candidate for political office, much less for American sainthood. To those who kIiew him, he was an extraordinary athlete, a high-stakes and high-living gambler, and very far from a regular college student.

    YOU HAVE BEEN RECOMMENDED FOR APPOINTMENT TO UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY. ...PLEASE WIRE ME COLLECT WHETHER OR NOT YOU WILL CON SIDER ACCEPTANCE.

     Captain Philip Hayes, Charge of A.A.A. [Army Athletic Association]

    -Telegram to George Gipp, July 27, 1920

    The fallout from Gipp's brief expulsion from Notre Dame continued long after he was readmitted in late April (he played baseball for N .D. in May). Not only did West Point pursue him through the summer but Michigan stayed in the hunt and managed to snatch his favorite pass target, N.D. end Bernie Kirk. During the late summer of 1920, Gipp spent time on the Ann Arbor campus and then moved on to the University of Detroit, where his N.D. teammate Pete Bahan had transferred. Considering Gipp'spenchant for cash and the corruptidn in college foot- ball at the time, probably the offers from Michigan and Detroit included various sums of money.

    In the end, Rockne went to Michigan and convinced Gipp to return to Notre Dame.

 

July 28

Irish Legend

Kevin Hardy, Defensive tackle/Defensive end (1964-67), 6'5", 270 lbs. is born in 1945.

Hardy's best sport at Notre Dame may have been football, but it certainly wasn't his only one. The big, bruising lineman from Oakland, California, didn't even suit up for a game of organized football until his junior year in high school, but he was the first Notre Dame player in nineteen years to win letters in three sports. As a freshman, Hardy averaged 2.3 points for the Notre Dame basketball team, which went on to the NCAA tournament, and he played on the varsity baseball team. As a junior, Hardy showed that he wasn't just a good hitter on the football field. As a right fielder he led the baseball team with a .398 batting average his senior season.

In football, Hardy was the starting right tackle in his freshman season, though he missed most of his sophomore year with an injury. He was back on the first team as a junior, earning All-American honors. As a senior he emerged as one of the best defensive linemen in the nation. Playing both tackle and end, he was again named All-American.

The New Orleans Saints used the seventh overall pick in the 1968 NFL draft to grab Hardy. He played for the San Francisco 49ers in 1968, the Green Bay Packers in 1970, and the San Diego Chargers in 1971 and 1972.

 

July 29

Irish Lore

In 1895, Notre Dame played four games--against lawyers, cyclists, marksman, and doctors. That is, they played Northwestern Law (20-0 win), Illinois Cycling Club (18-2), Indianapolis Artillery (18-0 loss), and Chicago Physicians and Sugeons (32-0 win).

 

July 30

Irish Legend

Frank Rydzewski was a starter at center on Jesse Harper's last two teams in 1916 and 1917. He was a consensus All-American as a senior -- only Notre Dame's second to that point.

 

July 31

Irish Lore

Ara Parseghian's teams always got off to a roaring start. From 1964 to 1974, his Fighting Irish squads never lost an opener and beat the opposition by an average score of 43-9.

 

 

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