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08/29/2013

Jesse Harper: The Game Changer

Former coach and athletics director set the path for Notre Dame's football excellence 100 years ago

Best remembered as an All-American fullback and one of the Four Horsemen during his playing days at Notre Dame, Layden played one year of professional football after graduating in 1924. In 1925 he became head football coach at Columbia College in Dubuque, Iowa, finishing 8-5-2 in two seasons. He held the same post at Duquesne in Pittsburgh from 1927 1933 and put together a 48-16-6 mark. Layden coached at his alma mater for seven years and compiled a 47-13-3 record after taking over as both coach and athletic director in 1933 following the resignations of coach Hunk Anderson and athletic director Jesse Harper. In 1940 he resigned his Notre Dame post and a year later became commissioner of the National Football League. He resigned from that position in 1946 to start a business career in Chicago.

Elmer Layden
Elmer  Layden

Position:
Head Coach 1934-1940

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