Bob Davie was set to coach his first game in Notre Dame Stadium since being fired following the 2001 season in two weeks. After suffering a “serious medical incident” last weekend though, Davie has decided against making the trip to South Bend in two weeks.
Davie released the following statement today:
“While I will be around next week and involved, I have decided to not make the trip to South Bend for our September 14 game with Notre Dame.
After receiving advice from my doctors and wife, I wanted to make this decision now so our team and coaching staff could go into the weekend with clarity and consistency. My doctors have said that with no setbacks I can expect a full recovery with no limitations. I have great confidence in our staff and this gives us our best chance for success and limits the distractions.
Saga Tuitele will serve as acting head coach and will be in charge of game management. Joe Dailey, Jordan Peterson, and Perry Eliano will handle offense, defense, and special teams.”
Davie would have been the first former Notre Dame head coach to return to Notre Dame Stadium to coach against the Irish had he made the trip. He served as head coach of the Fighting Irish for five seasons (1997-2001) following Lou Holtz’s abrupt retirement at the end of the 1996 season.
Davie took an 11-year hiatus from coaching following his stint with Notre Dame serving as a color commentator for much of that time. He returned to the sidelines in 2012 with New Mexico and has recorded a 34-54 record during his tenure including a 9-4 campaign in 2016 highlighted with a New Mexico Bowl victory.
Davie, 64 years old, suffered the incident following New Mexico’s season-opening win over Sam Houston State on Saturday. Details so far have been scare on Davie’s incident from this past weekend.
Seeing Davie on the sidelines of Notre Dame Stadium again would have been a bit surreal, but unfortunately, Davie’s health will not allow for it to happen. Hopefully for Davie’s sake, his condition improves and allows him to return to the sidelines in the future.
Notre Dame has an extra week to prepare for New Mexico following Monday’s night season opener with a bye week on tap this weekend. They will now face a team with an interim head coach.