It is a big week for former head coach Ara Parseghian, he was inducted into the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame on Tuesday, April 17, and will return to the Notre Dame Stadium sidelines as an honorary head coach at the Blue-Gold Game on Saturday, April 21.

Ara Parseghian Inducted Into AT&T Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame

April 18, 2007

Six individuals who helped shape the tradition of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic and college football history were inducted today into the AT&T Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame.

AT&T Inc., and the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association honored the Hall of Fame “Class of 2007.” The honorees included long-time CBAA photographer Brad Bradley, Oklahoma A&M tailback Bob Fenimore, USC wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, Texas A&M linebacker Dat Nguyen, former Notre Dame head coach Ara Parseghian, and Texas offensive tackle Jerry Sisemore. Fenimore was unable to attend the ceremony but was represented by his two daughters, Ms. Beth Atess and Ms. Jo Ellen Jones.

Each member of the Hall of Fame received a personalized bronze statue in the likeness of a 1930’s football player, the era in which the Cotton Bowl was founded.

Brad Sham, “The Voice of the AT&T Cotton Bowl,” and “The Voice of the Dallas Cowboys,” served as Master of Ceremonies.

“The AT&T Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame honors the many extraordinary individuals who have played a role in developing the tradition, pageantry and prestige of one of college football’s most historic post-season bowl games,” said Bruce Gadd, Chairman, Cotton Bowl Athletic Association. “We believe that the AT&T Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame provides future generations with a greater appreciation for the rich tradition of college football on New Year’s Day here in Texas.”

A 35-member judging committee comprised of media representatives and athletic administrators voted from a list of 52 original nominees that included players, coaches, bowl administrators and others who have made special contributions to the Classic.

Selection criteria for the AT&T Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame include the following:

Voting is based solely upon an individual’s performance in, or contribution to, the Classic rather than on the person’s overall college or professional career.

An individual is eligible five years after their final Classic appearance.

“The AT&T Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame provides the perfect opportunity to properly and permanently recognize these heroes and unique personalities who helped establish the Classic as one of college football’s premier events,” said José Gutiérrez, President and CEO of AT&T Southwest. “The AT&T Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame has become home to a virtual who’s who of college football legends.”

COACH Ara Parseghian, NOTRE DAME Hometown: Akron, Ohio
Classic Coaching Record: 1-1-0
1970 Classic: Texas 21, Notre Dame 17
1971 Classic: Notre Dame 24, Texas 11

A meticulous strategist and a fierce competitor with a doctrine of total preparation, Ara Parseghian was determined to turn the tables on top-ranked Texas. After Notre Dame’s last-minute loss to the Longhorns in the 1970 Classic, the first bowl appearance for the Irish in 45 years, Parseghian longed for a second chance to derail unbeaten Texas. He got his wish one year later. For the 1971 rematch, Parseghian came up with a defensive game plan to stop the vaunted Texas Wishbone in its tracks. His scheme worked flawlessly. Notre Dame’s “mirror defense” held Texas to 216 rushing yards and forced the Horns into nine fumbles with the Irish recovering five of them. The 30-game Texas winning streak came to an abrupt 24-11 ending, and finally, Parseghian had plenty of reasons to smile.