August 20, 2010 // Notre Dame Football

Ara Parseghian Addresses Team

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Former Notre Dame head coach Ara Parseghian addressed the 2010 Fighting Irish before practice on Thursday. (Photo - IconSMI)

Notre Dame had a few famous visitors at practice on Thursday, but perhaps none more famous than two time national championship winning former head coach Ara Parseghian.  Ara addressed the team after warm-ups with many players meeting him for the first time.

In reading the different reports about Ara’s address to the team, the main thing that stood out was the fact that most of the team had never meet Ara or heard him speak.

“It was really inspirational. Actually I had never seen him or met him in person. It was a great experience,” said linebacker Anthony McDonald, who was sidelined by a hyperextended knee and entered the practice facility using a cane. (ESPN)

And according to Blue and Gold:

“I know for our players, they haven’t had Coach Parseghian speak to the team — a lot of them hadn’t met Coach Parseghian.,” said Kelly after practice. “It was really cool to be on the field and have him come out and really take control of the huddle. Listen, this was not walking out a guy that doesn’t have an aura about him. He walked out there, took over the huddle right away and talked about toughness — mental toughness and physical toughness, and what it takes to win. It was just a great message.

Some of the seniors had met Ara at the 2007 Blue-Gold game when he was one of the honorary coaches along with Lou Holtz, but from the sounds of the reports, the younger players had never met the legendary coach before Thursday.

This is just another in a long line of examples so far this off-season that Brian Kelly gets what it means to be the head coach at Notre Dame.  There is still a whole lot left to be proven on the football field, but in terms of playing the role of head coach, Kelly has done just about everything right thus far.

Parseghian knows a thing or two about bringing Notre Dame back to prominence in a hurry.  If Brian Kelly can guide the Irish to anywhere close to as successful a season as Parseghian did in 1964, Notre Dame fans are in for a treat this year.

Comments to this Article

  • IrishChan commented on August 20th, 2010 at 6:02 am

    Just finished “Resurrection” while deployed to Germany. A must read for any Notre Dame fan by the way.

    Ara new a thing or two about bringing a team together. He’s an incredible leader. And Kelly seems very reminiscent of him.


    John replied on August 21st, 2010 at 12:23 am

    I was a student at ND for the Resurection. Ara gave his first speech on a cool evening from Sorin Porch. We had been thru, Brennan,Kuharic,and Devore. Three losing coaches. The crowd was small maybe100+ guys considering the importance of the event. The feeling was that ND had changed abd would never return to glory. There were important rule change in 1964 but no coach caught onthem like Ara. We were going from single platoon football to separate off and Def teams.

    Ara was the only one who seemed to know what that meant. I remember in the 2nd or 3rd game of the seasom, Ara flanked Snow and Eddy to the right and our big 10 opponent only put one back out to cover. Most of the season was like that


  • Shazamrock commented on August 20th, 2010 at 7:41 am

    I was watching some sports show a few weeks back. They were showing the classic game between Michigan St,and ND(The 10-10 tie) with Ara on the sidelines. I’ve seen it many times before, but seening Ara coaching, his focus, and his intensity, it still gives me goosebumps. Any time I think of that game I also remember the game the following week. The seaon finally agianst USC. Beat them something like 52-0 to go undefeated and claim the nation title.

    Ara Parseghian is a living legend, and one of the many things that makes ND great!


    ted sheehan replied on August 22nd, 2010 at 11:12 am

    oh how kelly bringing back the history and past icons is the smartest thing,he can do…


  • Geoff G. commented on August 20th, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Great to see Coach Kelly following the right steps and including Notre Dame legends to get his team pumped up for the coming season. And Frankie, you are right, Coach Kelly is doing all of the right things so far. I remember believing that Coach Weis was doing all of the right things as well, though. Hopefully our fate is different this time around since Kelly has been a successful HC previously. GO IRISH!


  • C commented on August 20th, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    The suspense for this season is KILLING me I am so ready to see these guys! I love Coach Kelly mostly because of what he is doing to these players, he is making them big strong men something Weis was not known for. I’m a little nervous about the offensive changes, but Kelly has shown it can work. Looking at the schedule this team could easily win 10 games, I don’t like to set expectations that high, but 10 is very possible, if we can roll that into USC we could be looking BCS.


  • sonofadomer commented on August 20th, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Awesome. Having a living legend like that come talk with these young kids has to be an incredible experience for them. Kelly isn’t just paying lip service to the history; he wants these kids to be a part of it, something that reminds me so much of what guys like Jeter and Posada say about being a Yankee and having the legends around the clubhouse, or the old Montreal Canadiens saying when Guy Lafleur or Larry Robinson stopped by the locker room. Carpe diem.

    C, I’m completely with you! The ESPN articles and Bruce Feldman’s gushing blog made me even more antsy for this season to begin. The energy here in South Bend and on campus is electric.

    The great thing about Kelly is that this isn’t a public relations snow job. He’s a winner. I don’t know about a ten win season this year, but I’m sure they’ll be in every single game win or lose.


  • Cav commented on August 21st, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Who would have thought that a whole scrimmage would be devoted to 2nd and 3rd string players? That is what ND did yesterday. Legend had it that Weis gave most of the reps to the starters, no wonder he could not develop any depth.

    I have no idea how this team will do this year, but I’m confident that ND is going to a major force for years to come because of Brian Kelly. To him, this is more than just playing on Saturdays, this is chaging the way you live your life. There are going to be some pretty good kids that are going to want to come to ND and play for this guy because he is a winner.

    I really think most of us are going to be blown away by what we see against Purdue.


  • sonofadomer commented on August 21st, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    “I really think most of us are going to be blown away by what we see against Purdue.”

    Agreed! You know it’s bad when you search the sports news for any nugget of information coming out of practice. When was the last time there was this much excitement about the Irish? Even ESPN is drinking the Kool-Aid with Robert Smith predicting 10 – 11 wins. That might be a stretch. But it’s hard not to be pumped by by Kelly and how he exudes such positive energy.


    Cav replied on August 22nd, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    I agree with the positive energy with Kelly, but I thought of something else.

    When CW got here, he was a winner with 3 Super Bowl rings. But he was not the leader, it was Belicheck. No disrespect to Weis, but he was never the leader of a winning team before he got here. He was a great OC when he arrived and he remained the greatest OC ND ever had.

    However, Kelly has won as a leader and he has won quite a bit. At this point, ND is back because if he can win at a smaller school like Cincy, he will do amazing things at ND like Meyer is doing a Florida. When you combine a proven system with resources and talent, great things will happen.

    Next week is game week, I can’t wait.


  • Don commented on August 22nd, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    ya, especially the part when Purdue scores 4 touchdowns in the 1st half. the UHND chat board will be screaming and will probably have to be shut down to let everyone cool off. A few games into the season we may begin to see some good football but not in September.


  • sonofadomer commented on August 23rd, 2010 at 2:38 am

    Neither can I. The fridge is stocked with ribs and chicken wings in anticipation of the game. The beer will have to wait until the Friday before kick-off, otherwise we’ll drink it!

    You’re absolutely right that Weis came in with the rings but not the pedigree. It showed in how he tried to run everything NFL style. But this isn’t Charlie’s team anymore, which means no more crashing in the third quarter or seeing an ill-prepared team.

    This ND fan hopes Kelly does better than than Meyer or Saban, two guys who are more about themselves than the programs they coach. Kelly is all about ND. When he’s on his public relations campaign it’s not about Brian Kelly, it’s about Notre Dame. That’s refreshing. Kelly’s optimism is infectious. I worked for a chef with a personality like this and it really boosts everyone’s morale. (Oddly enough the chef’s name was Mike Kelly. Wonder if it’s the name.)


  • Shazamrock commented on August 23rd, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Urban Meyer broke into college coaching as an assistant years ago at ND.
    The idea was that as he climbed the ladder in coaching success he would return one day to lead the Fighting Irish. When that day came he opted insted for the easier choice. The more relaxed admissions. The lower standards, the sunshine, strong recruiting grounds, and the sandy beaches.
    ND it seems was too hard to recruit to. To hard to find bright young men who could play championship caliber football. The admissions were too stringent. The pressure to win too heavy. The weather too lousy. And the exspectations too high.
    Winning a national title at Florida is great. Made national headlines.
    Winning a national title at ND may be the hardest thing to do. But it’s effect is WORLD WIDE!
    There is no greater reward. No greater glory. No college program can hold a stick to winning a championship at ND. Do that, and you are truley at the top of the college football world. You become part of the legend, part of the greatest history in all of college football.
    Yes the price is high. But the rewards are unmatched by anyone.


  • Tommy Garrett commented on August 23rd, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Coach Kelly has the right name and if he has the “Grit” and can transfer all this to his Team…the Irish will have arrived again to achieve Championship Teams in South Bend…”Go Irish”!


  • Chris commented on August 24th, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    DEFENSE – DEFENSE – DEFENSE………come on DEFENSE!!!!!!!!


  • Mike commented on August 24th, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    it would be the 1st time in 15 years that the Irish played any sense of defense – so i am not counting on anything different this year. The Buckeyes might have the best defense around this year. Go Irish.


  • Shazamrock commented on August 25th, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Since Frank is a bit behind with the appetizers this week, I found an interesting stat that some might like to kick around.

    The highest ranked team to ever win a National Championship during the modern college football era was Oklahoma, at #19 in 2000. That was Bob Stoops second year as head coach. In 1999 he inherited a talented, but young team.

    This got me thinking about Kelly and the Irish. Kelly, like Stoops, has inherited a very talented team. But unlike Stoops, Kelly has an older and much more experienced team in his first year. Could the Irish go undefeated this year and go from unranked to National Title Winner?
    This is something that has never been done before in modern college football. Doing things that have never been done before has always been a ND tradition.
    They would need to beat teams convincingly. And they would probably need some help from teams ranked ahead of them. But if they did do it, it would be most remarkable. It would vindicate many players who suffered through some of the hardest of times. It would take it’s rightfull place along side some of the greatest moments and teams of all times. It would add to the history, the legends, and the mystique of Irish football.
    I know the odds in doing so are long, but it does sound like something only one school could do. Only something ND could do.


    IrishChan replied on August 25th, 2010 at 8:34 am

    A lot of really good teams will have to get beat for that to happen. Plus our schedule isn’t the toughest we have seen in a while.

    I like the thought and wouldn’t be surprised at all if we win far more games than everyone believes we can.

    This head coaching change is REALLY reminisnt of when Ara and Holtz to over the program. Kelly brings many the same ideas to the table as well.

    All I know is that I’m going to be on the edge of my seat all season. And can’t wait to attend the Standford game!

    Go Irish!


  • Chris commented on August 25th, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Indeed – the coaching aspect is the intangible overlooked by typical ND haters. The Irish aren’t going to be losing games in the 3rd and 4th quarters as long as BK doesnt change his approach and attitude that got him here. I dont expect that to happen and also am looking forward to a never quit attitude that BK installed at Cincinnati.

    The coaches BK brought with him and the energy they approach practice and the game with has been the most glaring lacking element for the Irish these past years since the Holtz era. I agree with the Subway Alumni guys when they say stats dont mean crap until you see them play on the field. Tough to temper the excitement and hopes of a great season based on the results of the last 3 coaches but it is different this time. A proven college coach with a demonstrated ability to win with lessor talent has NOT been seen on campus since Lou left. That is why this season will be different! GO IRISH! …and again I will leave with one last thought…..DEFENSE – DEFENSE – DEFENSE – my kingdom for a defense. GO IRISH!


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