Ara Parseghian To Be Inducted Into Cotton Bowl Hall Of Fame

April 13, 2007

DALLAS – Ara Parseghian, head football coach at Notre Dame from 1964-74, will be inducted into the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame on April 17 at Cotton Bowl Plaza, Fair Park, in Dallas. Parseghian joins five other honorees in this year’s class including long-time CBAA photographer Brad Bradley, Oklahoma A&M tailback Bob Fenimore, USC wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, Texas A&M linebacker Dat Nguyen and Texas offensive tackle Jerry Sisemore.

“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.”

Parseghian coached in two consecutive Cotton Bowls in 1970 and 1971, both against Texas. A meticulous strategist and a fierce competitor with a doctrine of total preparation, Parseghian was determined to turn the tables on the top-ranked Longhorns in 1971. After Notre Dame’s last-minute loss to Texas in the 1970 Classic, the first bowl appearance for the Irish in 45 years, he longed for a second chance to derail the unbeaten Longhorns and got his wish one year later.

Parseghian came up with a defensive game plan to stop the vaunted Texas wishbone offense in its tracks. His scheme worked flawlessly as the Irish “mirror defense” held Texas to 216 rushing yards and forced the `Horns into nine fumbles with Notre Dame recovering five of them. The 30-game Texas winning streak came to an abrupt 24-11 ending, and finally, he had plenty of reasons to smile.

Parseghian paced the Notre Dame sidelines for 11 years where he won two consensus national championships and also guided the Irish to victories in the 1973 Sugar Bowl and the 1975 Orange Bowl. Named National coach of the year in 1964 after guiding his first Notre Dame team to a 9-1 season, his overall 24-year college coaching record stood at 170-58-6 (.739). He was voted into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame in 1980.

“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.”

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 Class of 2007 is the seventh to be inducted into the AT&T Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame. The inaugural Class of 1998 included Syracuse halfback Jim Brown, Texas quarterback Bobby Layne, Rice halfback Dicky Maegle, Texas coach Darrell Royal, Cotton Bowl founder J. Curtis Sanford, “Mr. Cotton Bowl” Field Scovell, and SMU halfback Doak Walker.

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