During my first two years at ND, I told all my buddies back home that ND had GREAT footbll players...
After 5-5 and 2-7 seasons I did not have much credibility when I told them “Watch out for us this year!” I thought there were several keys to the success I was predicting to my friends for 1964:
- We DID have great talent on campus.
- Ara was getting us organized. Kooch and Hughie were old school and the game had passed them by.
- Ara coached Daryle Lamonica in the East West All Star Game and got MVP performance from him.
- The new unlimited substitution rules were going to help us because of our depth of talent and because players like Huarte, Snow, and Wolski would be able to concentrate on offense.
- I was working in Sports Information and had an opportunity to go to some practices and I noticed renewed enthusiasm and tighter practices and, a very cohesive coaching staff.
- My classmates on the team were telling me things which got my hopes up.
- I got to be great friends with John Huarte in Summer School* and was pulling for him.
*I had the food sales in Morrissey that Summer and was probably better known in the dorm than John. LOL.
The announcer repeats a comment which was made a lot when Ara was hired……..that he was the first non-ND grad ever to coach Notre Dame. This is not close to being true. We never had an ND grad as Head Coach until Rockne in 1918. We started playing in 1887. Ed McKeever was Frank Leahy’s 1944 stand-in. He had attended ND for two years, but finished up at Texas Tech.
This is a great video.