Former ND coach Terry Brennan receives letters from Irish fans all over the world

Published: May. 5, 2020 at 5:31 PM EDT
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"Concentrate and give it 100 percent."

That was former Notre Dame head football coach Terry Brennan's message when the unranked Irish went to Norman, Oklahoma in 1957, beat the Sooner's 7-0 and snapped OU's still record 47 game winning streak.

I designed a crazy defense to screw up their split team. In the first half they were pretty much not going anywhere," Brennan said. "I got them out of their game which was pretty key to the whole game. When you plan something and it works, it really feels good."

What also felt good was the support Brennan received from an all-time Irish great during his playing days for the blue and gold.

"One guy said to John Lujack, he said, ‘how come you keep throwing all those passes to that guy Brennan,'" Brennan said. "He said, 'well, we played together for two years and he never dropped a pass so why not keep throwing it to him?'"

But Brennan says what always felt the best was the support of the Fighting Irish faithful

"They were always on your side," Brennan said. "Very loyal, good people."

Brennan still gets that support today. The former Irish head coach is currently in quarantine in a retirement home in Chicago. His grand daughter Colleen thought it would be a good idea to reach out to Irish fans to write him letters.

"They way in which that university responded, I was just so humbled and beside myself which the character and the respect they have for Papa," Colleen said. "This guy, he needs to know how loved he is."

Brennan has already received over 500 letters and counting. He is amazed that people of all ages, and from different countries, have sent him letters.

"I go back about 60 years," Brennan said. "There's not that many people who were around back then to watch me play. They read their history books so I guess they know all about me."

Brennan hopes the Irish faithful can continue to reach out with memories

"They make me feel good," Brennan said."I've got a bunch of letters. Very thoughtful. Very nice."

One of the letters Brennan received was from Notre Dame president father John Jenkins.

Brennan couldn't believe the president of the university would take the time to write to an old-timer.

If you would like to send Brennan a letter, you are much more than welcome.

He reads them all.

Here is the address of his retirement home:

Mather Place

2801 Old Glenview Road

Wilmette, Illinois 60091