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.