Nov. 8, 2006
By Craig Chval
Wayne Bullock claims that there is at least some question as to whether his two sons inherited their competitive nature from him.
Bullock's two sons matriculated at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, where Patrick competed in the NCAA track and field championship as a high jumper before graduating. Brandon currently is finishing his degree in clinical research.
"They're both competitive young men," says the proud father. "They want to compete with me at everything - you name it."
But anybody who ever saw the former Notre Dame fullback play wouldn't entertain even a glimmer of doubt that Bullock's sons came by their desire to compete naturally.
Bullock was a ferocious competitor, providing the perfect blend of toughness and speed for Ara Parseghian's teams of the early 1970s. As a junior, Bullock led the '73 national champs with 752 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns. The following season, Bullock rushed for a team-high 855 yards and 12 touchdowns.
And Bullock was at his best when the stakes were highest. He was the game's leading rusher in Notre Dame's 24-23 victory over number-one in the '73 Sugar Bowl and followed that up by earning the Orange Bowl offensive MVP award in Notre Dame's encore, a 13-11 victory over Alabama in Parseghian's last game as Irish head coach.
Bullock relished the opportunity to play undefeated and top-ranked Alabama teams two years in a row.
"Everybody knew they were a good team and had great tradition, and we wanted to play them," Bullock recalls. "But when you go to Notre Dame, you know that you're going to get everybody's best shot because everybody wants to beat you more than anybody else on their schedule."
The competition wasn't limited to Saturdays.
"There was a lot of talent at Notre Dame, and I feel that I was kind of fortunate to get to play," says Bullock modestly of his ability to earn a starting position over so many other high school greats. "And I always admired the guys on the prep team who came out every day and gave everything they had."
Bullock was a fifth-round draft pick of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers following his graduation, but a severe knee injury suffered as a rookie ended his playing career. After spending a few years back in his hometown of Newport News, VA, Bullock moved to North Carolina, where he still lives with his wife of 29 years, Marcia.
A veteran of 25 years of human resources and labor relations management with MCI/WorldCom and its predecessors, Bullock is currently weighing options in those fields after the demise of the telecommunications giant. Meanwhile, he keeps busy golfing and with many church-related activities - along with closely following the fortunes of Notre Dame football.
"I bleed the Golden Dome," says Bullock. "I'm glad I made the decision to go there and I would love to get more involved.
"Charlie Weis is going a great job," he offers. "They've definitely got the right man for the right job."