Aug. 13, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The five former Fighting Irish head football coaches whose teams won one or more consensus national championship at the University of Notre Dame will be honored during the 2008 Irish home football season.
Each of the five coaches - Knute Rockne (championships in 1924, '29, `30), Frank Leahy (1943, '46, '47, `49), Ara Parseghian (1966, `73), Dan Devine (1977) and Lou Holtz (1988) - and/or their families have been invited back for an '08 home game:
Lou Holtz - September 13 vs. Michigan
Dan Devine - September 27 vs. Purdue
Ara Parseghian - October 4 vs. Stanford
Frank Leahy - November 1 vs. Pittsburgh
Knute Rockne - November 22 vs. Syracuse
All five coaches are members of the National Football Foundation's College Football Hall of Fame - with Holtz earning induction in 2008.
The championship coaches (or family representatives) will take part in the ceremonial pre-game coin toss, using a specially produced commemorative coin that features the likenesses of all five coaches. Holtz and Parseghian will be present, while approximately 20 Devine family members, 15 members of the Leahy family and six Rockne family members are expected to return for the weekend.
The coaches and family members will be honored throughout the weekends, including recognition at the Friday noon Kickoff Luncheons and the Friday night pep rallies.
Photos of the five national championship coaches are featured on the 2008 game tickets, schedule cards, game program covers and game program insert posters for their respective games.
The returning coaches will be recognized in feature stories in the game programs, in addition to extensive feature material and interviews on www.und.com.
Holtz's recognition at the Sept. 13 game against Michigan coincides with the dedication of the Holtz sculpture that same morning in Notre Dame Stadium, as well as the 1988 national championship team's 20th reunion that same weekend. He also will be honored at halftime that afternoon for his '08 College Football Hall of Fame induction.
The only home game for '08 that does not include recognition of a former championship coach is the Sept. 6 home opener against San Diego State. Theming for that contest is based on that game marking the 200th consecutive sellout at Notre Dame Stadium (and the 248th in the last 249 games), the second-longest streak in the nation (only Nebraska with 289 straight coming into '08 has a longer current home sellout streak among NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision schools).
-- ND --