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Passing On The Torch At Notre Dame

by admin on Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Notre DameFollowing in the steps of some of the greatest coaches in college football history cannot be all that easy.  I mean, all of that tradition can get pretty heavy, right?

A little advice from those who came before you would be nice now and then, correct?  Wouldn’t it be nice to have as your advisor someone who had your job for over 10 years before you… and was very successful at it?  That is the situation that Brian Kelly, in his third year as Head Coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, is fortunate enough to find himself in this year.

Now, most all college football coaches get lots of advice…. from the players, the faculty, the alumni and the press.  Most good college football coaches probably get way more advise than they ask for and they likely tune out 95% of what comes in. That is unless your advisers happen to be Lou Holtz and Ara Parsegian.

Both of these gentlemen are icons at Notre Dame and both have statues on campus to give witness to their greatness during their terms in South Bend.

Ara Parsegian is now 89 years old and he looks great.  Coach Parsegian is still very active and likes to keep an eye on his former university.  So, now and then, he will offer a few words of wisdom to current Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly and you can bet that the new Irish coach is listening.

Parsegian was the Head Coach at Notre Dame from 1964-1974 during which time the Irish won 2 national championships in 1966 and 1973.  His record for the ten year run is an astounding 95 wins with only 17 losses and 4 ties. Parseghian coached at Miami University and Northwestern University before going to Notre Dame. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1980.  His time at Notre Dame is still known as the “Era of Ara.”

Lou Holtz coached the Irish from 1986-1996. He led them to the national championship in 1988.  Holtz is now a popular analyst for ESPN and is considered one of the wisest former coaches still active today.  His advice is golden and classic.  He told Brian Kelly simply, “Make sure they know what they are doing and make sure that they are well rested”.

Ara Parsegian was even more to the point, “Be careful after a big win”.

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