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How We Do What We Do

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typewriter.jpgWhen you consider all the technology available today, it's downright amazing to think how archaic athletic communications were just a few short years ago.

Need the latest University of Notre Dame football statistics? They'd be calculated and typed by hand on a manual typewriter (eventually the "big innovation" IBM Selectric typewriter came along), reproduced and mailed on Sunday nights and maybe you'd receive them via ordinary mail by Thursday.

Need them quicker than that? The hit commodity in technology in the 1970s was the Xerox Telecopier (a facsimile machine) that required either four or six minutes (depending on how clear you wanted the type to read) to send a single page of copy to another Telecopier on the other end.

If a media representative out of town needed your entire news release, depth chart and stats, it might take an hour or more to send it all.

Breaking news happening on one of the Irish athletic fields? There was no simple way to communicate it. Pick up the telephone and dictate. Call media outlets one at a time to alert them about a hiring or press conference.

Three technology advances changed everything in the sports information world everywhere - cell phones, the Internet and e-mail.

For years the joke around the Notre Dame athletic offices was that the Irish quarterback on a given day might break his leg and - given that practices were closed to the media - there was some chance no one would find out until the next day.

There was no texting, no Facebook - maybe no way for the word to get out other than old-fashioned word of mouth.

The World Wide Web prompted the offering of athletic sites like und.com that debuted in 1995. In the beginning sites like Notre Dame's offered strictly the basics - mostly what was available via traditional press releases. There was no video in the "early days," and media members weren't yet routinely carrying computers or laptops. So, quite often, the plea to media to utilize school sites for time-sensitive items like statistics went unheeded.

About that same time, cell phones changed the face of telecommunications. When current athletics staffers consider all the detailed scheduling and adjustments that go into, for example, a weeklong stay for a postseason bowl game, it's hard to imagine how those events ever occurred without cell phones. The Orange Bowl provided some new contraption-style portable phones to Notre Dame reps one year, but they looked more like walkie-talkies than the current variety and they didn't exactly fit in your pocket.

For Your Viewing Pleasure

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annual.report.jpg

Click HERE
(or on the sweet women's soccer national championship trophy in the photo above)
to view the 2010-11 Notre Dame Athletics Annual Report

Hanging With the Holts

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2479119.jpegThe Observer - Being married to your job can be stressful, depressing and ultimately damaging. But being married to someone who has the same job? That can be helpful, comforting and, for Irish coach Susan Holt, a whole lot of fun.

Holt is entering her 22nd year as a women's golf coach, and her sixth year coaching at Notre Dame. For the past three years she has been joined by her husband Tim Holt, who is currently the men's and women's golf coach just across the street at Holy Cross College.

The story of how the two came together to coach at neighboring schools, though, begins well before their time in South Bend.

Susan played golf in college at Ohio State, and landed her first coaching position in 1990, just two years out of school.

"I was head coach at Purdue from 1990-1993, and Tim was a club pro at a town near Lafayette," Susan said. "We met through a mutual friend, and we ended up getting married in 1993."

From Purdue, the Holts moved to Florida, where Susan took over the head coaching job at South Florida. Tim continued to work in golf, and took on a couple coaching jobs as well, at Zephyrhills High School, and later at Saint Leo University. While down south, they also started a family, welcoming children Justin and Kristin.

After 13 successful seasons at South Florida, including five conference championships, two NCAA championship appearances and receiving the title "Coach of the Decade" in Conference USA, Susan accepted a job offer from Notre Dame, and the family returned to the Midwest.

"We moved here six years ago," she said. "I got hired by Notre Dame, and [Tim] started as an instructor locally and worked at [local course] Juday Creek in the summers. He really immersed himself in the golf community here, and he was an obvious candidate when Holy Cross was looking for a head coach."

Since the two have taken their current coaching jobs, they've enjoyed an impressive run. Aided by the assistance they receive from one another, Tim's Saints have won four tournaments under his command, while Susan's Irish have won 10 tournaments and two Big East championships. Notre Dame also made their first-ever NCAA championship appearance last season.

"Having each other has been really helpful over the years," Susan said. "[Tim] played college golf, and he's in the business of golf, so he's been able to help me a lot."

Between the commitments of practices, tournaments and golf's demanding travel schedule, it can be difficult for the Holts to balance the demands at work and at home. After a few years of practice, though, they've managed to find a routine that allows success on the course as well as quality time at home.

"It's challenging," Susan said. "We have a daughter who's 13 and a son who's 15, so it requires a lot of time management. We keep in touch throughout the day and we make sure that they're getting picked up and that we're there when we need to be. It definitely keeps us busy."

For the Holts, though, they wouldn't have it any other way.

"I've been doing this for 22 years now," Susan said. "This is what I do and this is what I love, and I think my husband feels the same way. It's a good fit for us right now, and we'd like to keep this going."

Daily Dish - 9.21.11

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4721381.jpeg - The women's golf team battled gusty winds and a tough course on Tuesday afternoon on the way to a 23-over par mark of 311 during the second round of the Golfweek Conference Challenge ... Notre Dame will enter Wednesday morning's final 18 holes, trailing first-place Oregon by 12 strokes as the Ducks moved into first place with the low round of the day, a 16-over mark of 34 ... Ashley Armstrong is Notre Dame's top golfer after 36 holes after rounds of 73-77 for a six-over 150 ... that puts her in a tie for 14th place, seven strokes behind the leaders.

- Former football standouts Dave Casper and Rocky Bleier will be among the honorees tonight at the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies at Hawthorne Race Course ... a delegation of Notre Dame athletic administrators will be in attendance.

- The men's lacrosse team will take part in a "barnstorming" trip to central Indiana this Saturday ... the Fighting Irish will hold a practice/intrasquad scrimmage at Carmel High School in Carmel, Ind., to help energize the growth of lacrosse in the Indianapolis area.

- Much has been made of the 13 turnovers by the Notre Dame football team through its first three games combined ... interestingly enough, the 1977 Irish team had 14 turnovers through three games - and went on to win the national championship ... the 1966 and 1973 Notre Dame teams, both national title winners, both had 10 turnovers through three games.

- The football team ranks 10th nationally in third-down defense - permitting only 10 conversions on 40 third-down attempts ... over the last seven games combined Notre Dame's defense has give up an average of only 90.9 rushing yards per contest ... Tommy Rees is the first Irish quarterback to lead his teams to wins over USC and Michigan State and win a bowl game (Miami in Sun Bowl) since Kevin McDougal did that in 1993.

Daily Dish - 9.20.11

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- The women's golf team started the 2011-12 campaign on Monday afternoon by shooting an opening-round mark of 14-over par 302 for 18 holes at the Golfweek Conference Challenge ... the event is being played at the par-72, 6,236-yard Tom Fazio course at the Red Sky Golf Club in Wolcott, Colo. ... Notre Dame will enter Tuesday's 18 holes tied with Minnesota and trail first-round leader UC-Davis by eight strokes as the Aggies fired a first-day mark of six-over par 294 ... individually, the Irish were led by Ashley Armstrong, who got her collegiate career off to a fast start by firing a one-over par 73 ... she is tied for 10th after 18 holes and trails three players - Natalie Gleadoll of Mississippi, Kaitlin Higginbotham of Coastal Carolina and Grace Na of Pepperdine - by four strokes as that threesome carded three-under par marks of 69.

- The Joyce Athletics Grants-in-Aid program hosted former Secretary of State and 1975 Notre Dame graduate Dr. Condoleezza Rice for its annual recognition weekend Sept.17-18 ... she served as the keynote speaker for the dinner Friday evening at Jordan Hall of Science, where she spoke about the unique role Notre Dame plays in educating student-athletes and the importance of integrity in intercollegiate athletics ... one of the highlights of the evening occurred when women's basketball point guard, Skylar Diggins presented Dr. Rice with an autographed 2011 Women's Final Four jersey ... she joined the Joyce Grants-in-Aid members for their on-field recognition and thanked them for generously providing scholarship dollars for Irish student-athletes.

- A pair of men's soccer players have garnered BIG EAST accolades for their roles in helping the Fighting Irish post two victories over the weekend ... Grant Van De Casteele was named the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week, while Adam Mena was selected to the league's weekly honor roll ... Mena, who also was named to the College Soccer News national team of the week, had a hand in all three Irish goals over the weekend ... Van De Casteele, a central defender, was a key part of an Irish defense that allowed just one goal in 181 minutes of play in the wins over the Wolverines and Spartans ... after giving up a goal 39 seconds into the Michigan match, Notre Dame did not allow another score in the final 180:21 of the weekend.

- Look for ice to be made in Notre Dame's new Compton Family Ice Arena this week.

- The New York Times featured an interesting piece Monday that measured the number of college football fans per program based on television markets ... Notre Dame ranked third in this numerical exercise, with 2,261,738 fans - behind Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State and ahead of Texas, Texas A&M, Auburn, Alabama, Florida and Clemson. The study suggested the top markets for numbers of Notre Dame fans are (in order) New York, Chicago, Boston, South Bend, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Washington, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Detroit.

- Quarterback Dayne Crist was one of 22 student-athletes named to the 2011 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, Allstate and the AFCA announced Tuesday ... in its 20th year, college football's pre-eminent community service award recognizes the extra efforts made by college football players and student support staff off the field ... two 11-member teams comprise the Good Works Team ... Crist has helped organize a fundraiser on Notre Dame's campus each of the past three years to benefit St. Baldrick's Foundation, a charity that raises money for childhood cancer research ... in his three years involved with the fundraiser, he has helped the group raise approximately $100,000 for the charity ... Crist has also read to grade school children at St. Joseph's Grade School and visited with patients at St. Joseph's Medical Center ... Crist is the sixth Notre Dame football player selected to the Good Works Team since 1999 ... safety Tom Zbikowski was named to the 2007 team, offensive lineman Bob Morton was selected for the 2006 squad,linebacker Derek Curry was chosen for the 2004 team, linebacker Courtney Watson was named to the 2003 team and defensive end Grant Irons was the first Notre Dame player to be honored in 1999.

- Here are Brian Kelly comments from his media teleconference today:

"That's where we started this journey, to begin with recruiting on defense, and playing a tougher style of football. And to do that, you've got to be able to control the line of scrimmage. You also have to do it physically - you have to develop in the weight room."

"I like the way we play the game, other than we get sloppy. The big picture looks really good for me, and the big picture starts with developing a toughness, a mentality, both on the offensive and defensive line. We're seeing that through how we defend the run, how we've been able to run the ball more effectively."

"You can't come to practice now that you've won a game and feel as though, okay, you've arrived, because we certainly haven't. There are a lot of things we need to get better at if we're going to be a consistent winner."

"I think we had 11 scouts in and they said that physically he (Aaron Lynch) looks like an NFL player right now. He's got a lot of work to do as it relates to all the other little things that come with being a great player. But he's extremely gifted and he's relentless when it comes to rushing the quarterback."

"We demand a physical toughness from our football payers. And you get what you demand relative to physical toughness."

"If you put up the stats of the first three games and said pick which game they won, I don't know that you would pick this one (Michigan State)."

"We have not been infected with success yet. I'll know when that happens."

"I always thought it to be a great weakness within your program when you had to play freshmen. Not when they run as fast as George Atkinson or are as physical as Aaron Lynch. This group (of freshmen) was physically ready to compete right away."

- Cross country runner Jessica Rydberg has been named BIG EAST Cross Country Athlete of the Week ... Rydberg won the women's 5K at the National Catholic Championships last Friday ... her time (17:16) was the fastest since Notre Dame's JoAnna Deeter ran 16:52 in 1999 ... it was also the third-fastest time in the meet's history ... she was the ninth straight Notre Dame women's runner to win the meet ... the Pinetop, Ariz., product beat out 271 other women in the race, and helped lead the Irish to the team title over 32 other teams.

- Notre Dame ranks among the top three NCAA Division I institutions in the country in combining athletic and academic achievement, according to the annual rankings released today by the National Collegiate Scouting Association in Chicago ... Notre Dame ranked third among NCAA Division I universities and fifth overall in the annual NCSA Collegiate Power Rankings, trailing only Duke and Stanford in the Division I standings ... the NCSA Collegiate Power Rankings assess the academic and athletics standards of all NCAA and NAIA athletic programs across the country ... in the 2011 ratings, Notre Dame finished 18th in athletics, 19th in academic rank and second in NCAA graduation rank, for an average 13.0 power ranking ... this marks the seventh straight year Notre Dame has finished fifth or better in the NCSA rankings ... here are Division I standings from those seven years:

2011: 1. Duke 7.0, 2. Stanford 12.0, 3. Notre Dame 13.0
2010: 1. Stanford 9.33, 2. Princeton 12.33 ... 5. Notre Dame 25.66
2009: 1. Stanford 8.66, 2. Princeton 15.0 ... 4. (tie) Notre Dame and Harvard 23.33
2008: 1. Stanford 10.66, 2. Duke 14.66 ... 5. Notre Dame 23.66
2007: 1. Duke 11.66, 2. Notre Dame 18.33
2006: 1. Duke 11.33, 2. Stanford 13.0, 3. Notre Dame 15.0
2005: 1. Duke 8.66, 2. Stanford 13.0 ... 5. Notre Dame 22.33

Brophy Seeks Big Break

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brophybigbreak.jpgFormer Irish golfer Annie Brophy ('10) will be among six men and six women headed to Ireland in search of an $80,000 pot o' gold and two Tour exemptions as part of the Golf Channel's reality series "Big Break". The show premieres Tuesday (Sept. 20) at 9:00 p.m. (ET).

The show's premise is to award an aspiring professional golfer exemptions into selected events on certain tours. The contestants engage in a series of golfing challenges, with the weakest performer eliminated after each challenge. At the end of the competition, the winner receives prizes including one or more exemptions into a top professional golf tournament.

Check out Brophy's "Big Break" video profile, which includes a chip shot through the goal posts of Notre Dame Stadium.

While at Notre dame, Brophy was just the second four-time all-BIG EAST honoree in program history. A team co-captain during her senior campaign, Brophy left the program with the fourth-best career stroke average in program history with a 76.60 mark.

Warren Golf Course Named 12th-Best College Course

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warren.jpgNotre Dame's Warren Golf Course has been chosen as one of the top 15 college courses in the nation, according to Golfweek Magazine. To qualify for the Golfweek's Best Campus Courses list, a course must be part of a school's recreational life in terms of preferential access for students, faculty and alumni.

Last year, Golfweek ranked the Warren Golf Course as the 14th-best college golf course. This year the home course of the Irish moved up two notches to 12th, passing the likes of the University of Michigan Golf Course and Duke University Golf Course.

Co-designed by Bill Coore and PGA Tour veteran Ben Crenshaw, the Warren Golf Course opened on May 1, 2000, and has played host to three U.S. Amateur Championship qualifiers, the 2005 and 2010 men's NCAA Central Regional, the 2011 women's NCAA Central Regional, three Western Amateur Championship qualifiers, five BIG EAST Conference Men's Championships and three BIG EAST Women's Championships. In addition, the par-70, 7,020-yard tree-lined layout has welcomed numerous junior golf tournaments and serves as the home course for the Notre Dame men's and women's golf teams.

The Warren Golf Course also has been recognized nationally and internationally for excellence in several other major publications. The Warren Golf Course was selected as one of the nation's top 15 on-campus college courses in 2005 according to a feature article in Golf Digest. In 2008, the course was rated as the second-best course in the state of Indiana according to Golfweek as part of its series "America's Best Courses: State-by-State Rankings of Best Public Access Courses."

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