“Ara’s Era-Special in a Special Era”
It was back in the day, when the college football powers were places like Army, NYU, Boston College and the tiny Catholic school in South Bend.
It was the time where all the big games were played at Yankees Stadium and the Polo Grounds, and the legendary coaches were Knute Rockne and Frank Leahy.
And then times changed. NYU dropped football. Army was no long dominant. Here came all things Big 10, and the birth of the Southeastern Conference to rival that Pac 8-10-12..
And here came too, the Catholic school from South Bend, Notre Dame.
They are remembering the resurrection on the Notre Dame campus this day, the resurrection of the Irish football program under Ara Parseghian.
He’s passed away quietly at age (94), but the memories of what he did will never pass away. The reputation and his impact will be forever passed on.
He won big games. He went (95-17-4). He coached his team to 2-National championships, putting him on the same street corner as Rockne and Leahy.
His personna remains right up there with other icons like Lou Holtz and Dan Devine who strolled the sidelines in South Bend.
He build rock hard defenses that stopped people and took the ball away.
He developed quarterbacks, John Huarte….Terry Hanratting and Joe Thiesmann.
He led the Irish to victories in two of the most glorified games of all time, the 10-10 tie with Michigan State and the win over Alabama, both which propelled Notre Dame to the championship rankings.
And then he left. Burned out, he took a supposed one year hiatus, but never came back.
He instead raised nearly 45M in research money when his family was impacted by MS and Parkinson’s.
And the legend of his lore, is much like the legends of “Touchdown Jesus” and the “Gold Dome”.
Special man in a special time, at a special school.
Ara’s Era was to cast a shadow…that oddly….shines forever.