Parseghian speaks at Notre Dame class of 1968 reunion

A famous Notre Dame football coach and the class he came in with were reunited Friday night.

Ara Parseghian spoke to the class of 1968 during their 45-year reunion dinner on campus.

49 years ago, the alums were freshmen and Parseghian was in his first year of coaching.

"I remember as a student you'd always think if you walked by Coach Parseghian, you'd just like die because he was almost an idol because he was such a good guy," said 1968 Notre Dame graduate Skip Strzelecki.

That first year at Notre Dame was a magical one for the class of '68 and their football team. They had a successful season that ended with a game many Fighting Irish faithfuls believe they should have won.

"It started with Wisconsin in the rain, up in Madison," said '68 grad Tom McKenna. "We met them at the circle and it was a wonderful ride all the way to the phony holding call out in Southern Cal, the last game of the season. Otherwise, Ara would have had two national championships in his first three years."

Now, decades later, Parseghian has become more than a coach to many of the former domers. He participates in a golf outing with some '68 alums and knows many of the others by name.

"Since they graduated and, of course, I'm out of coaching, I've gotten to know a lot of them personally," Parseghian said. "They're a lively group."

But, being back on campus this year feels a bit more exciting for the former students after such a successful 2012-2013 football season.

They say Brian Kelly may just be bringing some of the 'era of Ara' magic back.

"It does feel like Ara all over again," McKenna said.


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