Steven Fogarty wears the Captain's C.

Captain of a Different Ship

Nov. 11, 2015

Editor’s note: This story was originally published to on Oct. 2, 2014 after Steven Fogarty was named a Notre Dame hockey team captain prior to his junior season. Now, as a senior, Fogarty is just the 15th two-year captain in program history. He has led the Irish to a 4-2-2 start to the 2015-16 season and he opened the year by scoring his first career hat trick in a 7-4 Notre Dame win at Penn State (Oct. 17).

Today, on Veterans Day, it made sense to once again reflect on Fogarty’s family history.

By Anna Gonzalez ’16

Any athlete knows what a huge honor it is to be named captain of his or her team. Hard work, dedication, sacrifice and grit are all required of the position. Steven Fogarty has been surrounded by those qualities his entire life in a more intense way than most – his father, William Fogarty, is a retired United States Navy Admiral, and his older brother, Charles, is currently serving in the Navy. You could almost say it was destined for Steven to be elected captain of the 2014-2015 team.

Unsurprisingly, when you consider the occupations of half of its members, the Fogarty family is very pro-military and Steven says he has the utmost respect for servicemen.

“To say I’ve had two in my family is pretty cool,” says Fogarty.

He added that having a father formerly and a brother currently in the Navy has taught him lots of valuable life lessons, and it’s a fact of which he’s extremely proud. “My dad has taught us so much, just how to be a man. And I look up to my brother more than anyone in my life.”

In a very special moment for the family, during Steven’s freshman year, his father received the veteran’s salute during the intermission of a game at Compton Family Ice Arena. “It’s pretty cool to say my dad is a retired admiral. He still loves hearing people call him ‘Admiral.'”

One of the lessons Steven remembers being taught by his father and still keeps in mind on a daily basis is, “‘Whatever you want to do you can do, as long as you make the sacrifices.’ My brother’s been through some of the hardest, if not the hardest, training anyone can go through. It’s something that when he was 12 or 13, he said, ‘I want to do this,’ and he basically gave up everything in life to do it,” says Fogarty.

“I realize that if I put my mind to whatever it is I want to do, which is to play in the NHL, if I keep working and keep doing what I’m doing, hopefully that will be an opportunity for me.”

The Fogarty's at Parents' Night 2015 (Nov. 7 vs. Minnesota).

The Fogarty’s at Parents’ Night 2015 (Nov. 7 vs. Minnesota).

Because of Admiral Fogarty’s work, the Fogarty family moved around a lot when Steven was young. Steven was born in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. His family moved to Egypt for about a year, and then returned to the United States and lived in New Jersey. From there, the Fogarty family finally moved to Edina, Minnesota, where Steven calls home.

“I don’t remember anything. This was all before I was four,” he said.

After the move to Minnesota, hockey was inevitable for Steven. He began skating when he was three-years-old and began playing competitively when he was four or five.

“There was a rink right down the street from me. I’m pretty sure every hockey player says that, but there was,” says Fogarty.

“Growing up in Minnesota, everyone plays hockey. It’s kind of like in Texas how everyone plays football. I mean literally everyone plays hockey.”

His mother, Carol, is responsible for getting him started in the sport and can be credited for some of Steven’s success.

“She would probably like reading that,” says the Irish captain.

“She was definitely the one who got me the skates and brought me down to the rink.”

Steven says he doesn’t even remember whether sticking with the sport was his choice or his mother’s.

“I think that she saw that I liked it and wanted to be down [at the rink]. I guess the more and more I played it, the more I liked it, but to be honest, I don’t even remember the first time I had a stick in my hands,” says Fogarty.

“Obviously I liked it, and my mom definitely sensed it, so that’s why she kept bringing me down there.”

It’s the only one that lasted, but hockey wasn’t the only sport that Steven tried out. He played tackle football for two years, but he says, “I wasn’t the fastest guy, so I didn’t really like that.”

He also played soccer until his junior year of high school. “I didn’t play anything too competitively besides hockey. As you get older, it’s harder to play two sports with hockey, so that was my main focus.”

The focus on hockey paid off. Steven was named captain of his high school team at Edina High School and was then drafted by the New York Rangers in the third round (72nd overall) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

During high school, he spoke with a few schools alongside Notre Dame, including Dartmouth, Colorado College, and Minnesota-Duluth. He even considered the service academies, and even reached out to the United States Military Academy at West Point, “They came to watch me, but I never really heard from them again,” says Fogarty.

He admitted that hockey has always been the forefront of his attention, so he never seriously considered entering the Navy, but he still hasn’t entirely ruled it out.

“It’s always been something I’ve been interested in, and who knows. It’s something I could still do when hockey is done,” adds the 21-year old center.

After he graduated from Edina in 2011, Steven took a year off to play in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) for the Penticton Vees. His decision to go to Canada was last minute and uprooted the plans he’d already had in mind.

“Originally, I was planning on playing in Chicago, which wasn’t too far away from home, explains Fogarty.

“I met the coach from Canada when he was in Minneapolis, because Mario [Lucia] and a few other Minnesota guys I knew were going up there. I actually remember when they committed there, I was like, ‘Why in the world would they ever go up to Canada and play hockey?'” says Fogarty.

“And then-who knew-two weeks later, I was going up there. So I took a visit. They have great facilities; I really liked the coaches and obviously the players who were going up thereââ’¬¦.the experience was great. I don’t regret any of it, and it helped me get ready for my freshman year.”

Throughout his season with the Vees, a spot in the Notre Dame locker room awaited him. Before he committed to Notre Dame during his senior year at Edina, he had been exposed to Notre Dame through the likes of other Edina natives such as Ryan Thang (’10) and Anders Lee (’14).

“I used to like to shoot in Ryan’s basement when I was little, while he was still in high school and college. And then Anders came here. I played with him my sophomore year [at Edina]. The second I visited, I knew that this was where I wanted to be,” says Fogarty.

His time at Notre Dame so far has been a time of growth and progression. He admits, “Freshman summer, they say I just never said anything, but I just take awhile to open up.” After two years, Steven has opened up and become vocal enough for head coach Jeff Jackson and his teammates to realize that he’s fit to lead the 27-man squad.

During the first week of classes in August, Coach Jackson spoke to Steven to let him know that he was named the captain of the 2014-15 hockey team. The first person he told was his mom.

“[She and my dad] were always asking me during the summer who were the captains going to be. They thought I knew, but I actually had no idea. So, right after I found out, I texted her, and she was obviously thrilled,” says Fogarty.

His parents have reacted to his success the way any parent would: with pride in their son’s accomplishments and support for his current endeavors.

“They’re great. They’re so supportive, and I can credit basically everything to them,” says the business major.

“All the qualities I possess as a person, both my mom and dad have instilled in me since I was born. I kind of just wanted to come to college, get an education, play hockey, and who knows what’s going to happen down the road? Obviously, they’re very happy with where I’m at, and I have their support all the way.”

As captain, something Steven says he hopes to do is simply set a good example for the other members of the team to practice, play, study, and live by.

“I try to do things the right way, the way they should be done. Whether it’s school, hockey or in a social environment, I like to think that I’ve got my head on straight, and I try to lead by example,” he remarks.

“I want people to sort of idolize the way I do things, and follow in my footsteps, so I pick my spots to speak, and obviously I’m going to have to get out of my comfort zone this year as captain. When there’s a time to say something, say something.”

Steven acknowledged the fact that he has two assistant captains who will be good to have as reinforcements. He explained that while he might not be the most vocal person yet, senior Peter Schneider and junior Sam Herr are both good speakers as well (“even Schneids with his accent,” Fogarty jokes) and will be good to have by my side.

While some people could take this kind of opportunity and make it about power and pride, Fogarty doesn’t. “I wanted to be a leader on this team. To be honest, going into this school year, I had no idea that I was going to be the captain,” explains Fogarty.

“We have a strong leadership core, and I wanted to be a part of that. Obviously, when Coach told me the news, it was very humbling. It’s a huge honor. There’ve been a lot of great captains, and kind of a pipeline of Edina people that have been captain, so it’s really cool to fill those shoes.”