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Ara Parseghian Dies; Former Notre Dame Football Coach Was 94

Image: Ara Parseghian Dies; Former Notre Dame Football Coach Was 94

In this Oct. 8, 2011, file photo, Ara Parseghian walks past a statue of himself during ceremonies at the University of Miami (Ohio), in Oxford, Ohio. (AP Photo/Al Behrman, File)

By    |   Thursday, 03 Aug 2017 07:30 AM

Ara Parseghian, who revived the Notre Dame football program in the 1960s and led it to two national championships, died at his home in Granger, Indiana, on Wednesday at 94, university president Rev. John Jenkins announced.

Parseghian went 95-17-4 during his 11 seasons as the Fighting Irish coach including undefeated 9-0-1 and 11-0 seasons in 1966 and 1973, respectively, when they were crowned NCAA national champions, the school noted.

"Notre Dame mourns the loss of a legendary football coach, a beloved member of the Notre Dame family and good man -- Ara Parseghian," Jenkins said in a Notre Dame statement. "Among his many accomplishments, we will remember him above all as a teacher, leader, and mentor who brought out the very best in his players, on and off the field."

All of Parseghian's Notre Dame teams finished in the top 15 in The Associated Press football polls, ESPN noted. At 51, the legendary coach announced before the 1974 Orange Bowl that he was resigning because of physical and emotional exhaustion, the network reported.

The South Bend Tribune noted that Notre Dame paused on hiring Parseghian because he was not a Notre Dame graduate, as had been the last eight Fighting Irish coaches back to Knute Rockne. Parseghian, a Miami University (Ohio) graduate, awarded his chance hiring by going 9-1 his first year after the Irish went 2-7 the previous season.

"As a student, I enjoyed the thrill of being on campus for Ara's last three years as head coach, including the 1973 championship, and saw firsthand the profound impact that he had on my classmates who played for him," Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in a university statement.

"When I returned many years later as athletics director, Ara was unfailingly generous with his time, and his counsel proved to be invaluable," Swarbrick added.

The Tribune noted that in 2007, former Notre Dame players paid for a statue of Parseghian that was unveiled outside Gate D of Notre Dame Stadium in honor of the coach.

Parseghian, an Akron, Ohio, native, was 39-6-1 as head coach at Miami (Ohio) and 36-35-1 at Northwestern before he was hired at Notre Dame, giving him an overall record of 173-52-6 for a .749 winning percentage, noted the Tribune.

Parseghian served two years in the Navy during World War II, stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Academy in 1944.

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Ara Parseghian, who revived the Notre Dame football program in the 1960s and led it to two national championships, died at his home in Granger, Indiana, on Wednesday at 94, university president Rev. John Jenkins announced.
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2017-30-03
Thursday, 03 Aug 2017 07:30 AM
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