Legendary Notre Dame coach Ara Parseghian died yesterday at the age of 94. Behind Knute Rockne and Frank Leahy, Parseghian was the greatest Notre Dame coach ever.
Parseghian has often been criticized for going for the tie in the famous 10-10 game against Michigan State in 1966. People forget that Notre Dame tied the game at 10 on the first play of the 4th quarter so it can be said that Notre Dame didn’t go for the tie the entire quarter. Notre Dame got the ball with 1:10 left in the game at its own 30 yard line and with a back-up quarterback did sit on the ball for the rest of the game. As Parseghian said many times the risk was too great to make a mistake and lose the game. At that time the tie was as good as a win because Notre Dame was voted the national champion by both the AP and the UPI.
Legendary basketball coach Stretch Gillam passed away this week at the age of 82. Stretch who was a Rutland native and an MSJ grad had over 600 wins as a coach mostly at Hartford High School. He played on the MSJ basketball team that won the Division 1 state championship in 1954.
I knew Stretch five years before I came to Rutland as a student at Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, New Hampshire. I got to know Stretch better along with his family in my years in Rutland and I love the entire family.
It’s funny I remember watching that Notre Dame-Michigan State game at Kimball Union with about 100 students in the dorm. I believe Stretch was watching the game with us too and I remember him teasing one of the kids who was a huge Notre Dame fan about Parseghian going for the tie. I’m pretty sure Stretch was a big Notre Dame fan too!
Two legends Stretch Gillam and Ara Parseghian!