Mike Golic Sr. talks impressions of current ND team, love for South Bend community

Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 9:21 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - One of the most visible Notre Dame football alums of the last quarter century joined Chuck Freeby and Terry McFadden on this week’s Countdown to Kickoff.

Mike Golic Sr. played for the Irish in the 80s, went on to a nice NFL career, and is now one of the nation’s premier sports broadcasters.

Mike covered a lot in his conversation with Chuck and Terry, including his thoughts so far on this year’s Irish team, his family’s love for the South Bend community, and what he’s up to nowadays.

Chuck: What are your impressions of this current Notre Dame team?

Golic: I think we all got excited when Sam Hartman signed on here. I remember my wife and I were in Ireland, and I think one of his first passes was like a swing pass, and the whole Notre Dame faithful cheered like we invented the forward pass. Like, we’re happy we have a guy who can throw the ball, and that’s something Notre Dame needed. You felt like you were out of a game if you were a couple of scores down, now you feel like you’re right there. You know you have a good running game, you know you have a solid offensive line, and then we flip to the defensive side of the ball needing to get those big plays as well. I know we’ll get into that, but Hartman brings, in watching him and talking to him, just that air of veteran-ism, right? Obviously, he’s been around for a long time. So, just his calm and his poise in the pocket, seeing reads, seeing his mind what he’s seeing, reading the blitz, getting rid of the ball where the hole is in the blitz. He’s just making smart decisions, and one of the best things right now is the zero next to interceptions because we know in the big, big games that’s what’s going to cost you the most.

Terry: How much credit do you think new offensive coordinator Gerad Parker has with Hartman’s success?

Golic: I mean, you’ve got to work in unison with the new OC. He’s been used to a certain offense at Wake Forest for a number of years, and now he has to change that and get to a ne verbiage, which is always like learning a different language. So, there has to be that cohesiveness, and obviously it’s working. You know, Parker has a system that he wants, but you pair it with what your quarterback does best and what they like best. And then you find that happy mesh — it’s some things that Parker maybe wanted to do but doesn’t, and some things Hartman maybe wanted to do but doesn’t. You find that mesh, but it mostly leans to the quarterback and making sure he’s comfortable with the plays that you’re calling.

Chuck: As busy as you are with football season, you and your family have always made a point of coming back here and being active in this community. Why?

Golic: Because Notre Dame to us is family. Between my brothers coming here, all my kids going here — two playing football, one swimming. And my wife going to Saint Mary’s, her sister going to Saint Mary’s. So, we never put any pressure on the kids, right? We didn’t brainwash them at all. I did tell them, ‘Go wherever you want, go where you’re comfortable as long as it’s not USC.’ I said, ‘We just can’t do that.’ But it has always been home to us, it’s always family to us. So, we have a place right on Notre Dame Avenue. The kids like to come back now, grandkids are on the scene as well. So, the golf cart that I had, which is a four-seater I got back in 2008, is soon going to become a six-seater since I have to have more seats occupied. But this will always be home to us, always be a gathering point for our family as it continues to grow. That’ll never change. We love this place.

Terry: Mike, I survived 25 years anchoring with my sister, and it was a wonderful experience. Now, you have a show with your son, Mike Golic Jr. How is that going, and where can we find that show?

Golic: Well, the expectation with you and your sister is there’s friendly barbs, right? Because it’s a brother-sister thing. Father and son, I expected Mike (Jr.) to kind of bend the knee a little bit. ‘Oh father, you’ve been doing this forever. What words of wisdom can you give me? What do I need to heed?’ None of that! Just rips my opinion right away, just doing his thing. But he’s fantastic. There is absolutely nothing, as you found out, like working with family. We’re both with DraftKings now. DraftKings is breaking out into a sports network as well, not just gambling. We’re on Samsung TV Plus, DraftKings YouTube Channel, DraftKingsNetwork.com, and it’s going to just keep growing. It’s a different world out there. Remember radio, guys? Now, I talk into a microphone, and I have no idea where it’s getting distributed anymore, but it doesn’t change the fact that I just talk into the microphone. But doing a show with my son, doing a show with one of my kids is the greatest joy I’ve had.”

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