Ara Parseghian, legendary Notre Dame coach, dies at 94

By Nick Shook
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College football has lost one of its coaching icons.

Former Notre Dame coach Ara Parseghian died early Wednesday, the university announced. He was 94.

Parseghian, a 1980 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, led the Fighting Irish to two national championships in 1966 and 1973. The titles culminated a massive turnaround for the program, which was floundering prior to Parseghian’s arrival in 1964.

Parseghian took the reigns of a Notre Dame program that hadn’t posted a winning record in five seasons. The coach immediately reversed the Irish’s course, going 9-1 in his first season at the helm. Parseghian finished with a record of 95-17-4 over 11 seasons, including the two national championships.

Parseghian retired from coaching in 1974 and entered broadcasting, serving as a color commentator for ABC Sports from 1975-81 and as an analyst for CBS Sports’ coverage of college football through 1988.

Before he was a coach, Parseghian played halfback and defensive back at Miami (Ohio) and for the Cleveland Browns in 1948 and 1949, where he played under legendary coach Paul Brown. A hip injury ended his career prematurely, diverting Parseghian toward a career in coaching. Parseghian also served as head coach at Northwestern from 1956-63 before leaving for South Bend, Indiana.

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