Former Notre Dame Coach Ara Parseghian Dies at 94

Former Notre Dame Coach Ara Parseghian Dies at 94”

Though he will surely be remembered for his time at Notre Dame, it was announced on Wednesday that former Northwestern football coach Ara Parseghian died at age 94.

Coming off a 2-7 season under interim coach Hugh Devore and with a combined 34-45 record over the previous eight years, Notre Dame hired Parseghian in 1964 to almost immediate dividends, thanks to a reliance on the passing game and much quicker players. In his first season, they finished 9-1 with their only loss to Southern Cal.

"The talent was there", Parseghian told the Associated Press regarding his turnaround of the Irish program, which went 2-7 the year before he took the job.

Parseghian grew up in Akron and initially enrolled at the University of Akron, but he quit college to join the Navy during World War II and first played for Brown on a service team at the Great Lakes Naval Station.

In 1950, Parseghian took a job coaching at Miami of Ohio under the legendary Woody Hayes, and when Hayes left at the end of the year to coach Ohio State, the 28-year-old Parseghian was promoted to Miami of Ohio's head coach.

It was at Northwestern that he learned the art of recruiting, getting players the bigger schools in the Big 10 overlooked.

Parseghian also coached at Miami of OH and Northwestern - he led the Wildcats to one of only two No. 1 rankings in program history - before arriving at South Bend.

Parseghian led the Fighting Irish to two national championships (1966, 1973) in his 11 seasons as coach and had a 95-17-4 record as the Irish head coach before retiring after the 1974 season. "Whenever we asked for Ara's help at Notre Dame, he was there", Jenkins said.

He began a stint in broadcasting, working with play-by-play announcer Keith Jackson on ABC from 1975-81, then at CBS from 1982-88.

He continued to demonstrate that leadership by raising millions of research dollars seeking a cure for the bad disease that took the lives of three of his grandchildren. The Foundation raises approximately $2.3 million each year, according to the website. There, Parseghian became a football coaching legend. He once said about coaches: "A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are". In 1980 he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

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