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    Daily Dish - 10.7.11

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    greendevine.jpg - The sculpture of former Notre Dame football coach and College Football Hall of Fame member Dan Devine was officially blessed and dedicated this afternoon at the Dan Devine Gate of Notre Dame Stadium (formerly Gate A) on a sunny, 81-degree afternoon ... the 50-minute ceremony was led by master of ceremonies Jack Nolan ... it included opening and closing performance by the Notre Dame glee club ... five of Devine's seven children were in attendance, plus countless grandchildren and great-grandchildren (in fact, they gathered to pull the covering off the sculpture), adding to around 60 Devine family members on site ... more than 20 former players were in attendance - Ed Bauer, Luther Bradley, Nick DeCicco, Tom Desiato, Marty Detmer, Mike Favorite, Vagas Ferguson, John Flood, Tom Gibbons, Bob Golic, Kris Haines, Steve Hartwig, Jerome Heavens, Ted Horansky, Larry Hufford, David Meadows, David Mitchell, Lou Pagley, Joe Restic, John Sweeney, Bob Tull and Mike Whittington ... former Irish assistant Brian Boulac was on hand, and former assistant Johnny Roland will attend the game Saturday.

    - Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick, a student at Notre Dame during the early portion of the Devine era, noted, "Every Catholic university ought to have a Devine gate!" Swarbrick also noted that, unlike in many coaching changes, Devine did not inherit a broken program (the Irish had been a combined 21-2 the previous two season) and even with that unique challenge "he achieved at the highest level." ... in closing, Swarbrick said, "You'll note we've got one gate we can still name, so we're working on it." ... University president Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., also a student when Devine was coaching, recalled a story former athletics director Kevin White told upon visiting Devine in the Phoenix area when Devine's health was waning ... despite Devine's success at Arizona State, Missouri and the Green Bay Packers, White noted that almost all of the memorabilia in Devine's home represented his Notre Dame experience ... in blessing the sculpture, Father Jenkins called Devine a "master motivator who brought out the best in his players." ... former Irish safety and punter Joe Restic represented the former Irish players and noted he was part of the first class recruited by Devine ... Restic pointed out that Devine was hired as the Arizona State head coach at age 31 and won 27 games in three seasons, then went on to a similarly-successful run at Mizzou ... Restic related a number of tales surrounding the wearing of the green jerseys against USC in 1977 and called it "one of the top 10 motivational ploys in the history of college football." ... fittingly, there were plenty of items of green apparel in the audience ... Devine's brother, Deacon Jerry Devine, spoke on behalf of the family and noted the Dan Devine phrase at the base of the sculpture: "Leave the field a better player. Leave Notre Dame a better person." ... he added, "You must go deeper than X's and O's to understand Dan completely. His effect on his former players was immeasurable." ... earlier at the kickoff luncheon, Nolan read a note from Regis Philbin congratulating the Devine family on the sculpture dedication.

    - Former Fighting Irish All-American and current Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler will be honored at halftime of Saturday's Notre Dame-Connecticut match ... Besler played at Notre Dame from 2005-08 ... as a senior, he became the first player in program history to earn both first-team All-America and first-team AcademicAll-America honors in the same season ... Besler was a three-time all-BIG EAST honoree and was named the 2008 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Scholar-Athlete of the Year ... in July, Besler competed in the Major League Soccer (MLS) All-Star game against Manchester United at Red Bull Arena ... he is the first MLS All-Star in program history.

    - Former Notre Dame men's lacrosse All-American David Earl recently was selected by the Minnesota Swarm in the National Lacrosse League (NLL) 2011 Entry Draft ... Earl was taken in the third round with the 27th overall selection ... Earl is coming off a successful rookie season in Major League Lacrosse (MLL) ... he and his Hamilton National squad fell to the Boston Cannons, 10-9, in the 2011 MLL title game in August ... Earl scored two goals in Hamilton's 11-9 semifinal win over Denver ... Earl tallied 17 goals and four assists in 10 games during the 2011 MLL campaign.

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