TheSportsNotebook.com is home to a treasure trove of resources on the modern era of Notre Dame football history, from articles to free downloads to a book about the Lou Holtz era. The era starts in 1975, after the retirement of the great Ara Parseghian and the arrival of Dan Devine. And it continues up to the end of Charlie Weis’ ill-fated tenure in South Bend.
THE DEVINE ERA (1975-80)
Dan Devine jumped ship on the NFL and the Green Bay Packers to take the job at Notre Dame. The first couple seasons were rocky, but Devine found his quarterback in Joe Montana. The Irish won a national title in 1977, a memorable Cotton Bowl in 1978 and made a run at another title in 1980 before Devine hung it up. Read the complete narrative of all six seasons in this free download.
THE FAUST FIVE
Gerry Faust, with his love for Notre Dame going all the way back to childhood and the most successful high school football coach in the history of Ohio, was an improbable choice to land in South Bend for his first college coaching experience. An honorable man, Faust had a legion of people pulling for him, but his teams couldn’t get over the hump. Read the complete season-long narratives…
THE HOLTZ GOLDEN AGE
The 11-year run from 1986-96 under Lou Holtz was the last time Notre Dame was a year-in, year-out national power. The Last Golden Age goes deep into the heart of that era. Available on Amazon in both print and electronic formats.
UP AND DOWN WITH BOB DAVIE
Holtz’s defensive coordinator got the chance to be his successor, but every time Notre Dame seemed on the verge of breaking through, they would come crashing down to earth. There was a major bowl bid in 2000 and certainly some notable moments, but not enough to keep Davie around. Here’s each article on the Davie era…
TY WILLINGHAM’S BLAZE & FADE
Having taken Stanford to the Rose Bowl in 1999, Willingham seemed like a perfect choice to be Notre Dame’s first black head coach. And when his first year saw him rocketing into the national top 5 by November, all was right with the world. But a fade in that season followed by a pair of mediocre campaigns brought Willingham’s run to an abrupt end.
THE RISE & FALL OF CHARLIE WEIS
Charlie Weis was the offensive coordinator for the first three New England Patriots Super Bowl titles with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Weis came flashing rings and vowing to outscheme his opponents. He went to major bowl games his first two years, but the next three seasons were rough ones indeed. Weis left town with a damaged reputation and the program turned the page.
Brian Kelly has been in South Bend since the 2010 season. There have been some tremendous highs—a trip to the 2012 BCS National Championship Game and to the College Football Playoff in 2018. But there have also been some very bad lows. Coming into the 2020 season, Kelly seems to have the program on solid footing, with his era’s ultimate verdict still to be written