Nov. 11, 2005
The way Jim Lynch sees it; he had probably the only Irish-Catholic parents in the state of Ohio who might have had the slightest twinge of regret at his decision to accept a football scholarship from the University of Notre Dame.
Lynch’s older brother, Tom, was a captain of Navy’s 1963 football team, the last Navy squad to defeat Notre Dame. Navy coaches did their very best to persuade Jim to follow in Tom’s footsteps.
But although the Midshipmen lost the contest to recruit Jim Lynch, they didn’t lose one ounce of his respect.
“Both (Notre Dame and Navy) stand for a whole lot more than just a place to go to school,” says Lynch.
Lynch did follow in his brother’s footsteps in one regard, as he went on to captain his team as a senior — Notre Dame’s 1966 national championship squad.
After earning All-American honors as a hard-hitting linebacker, Lynch starred for the Kansas City Chiefs for 11 seasons. A perennial all-pro in the NFL and a member of the Chiefs’ ring of honor, Lynch considers being Notre Dame’s captain his greatest honor in sports.
Today, Lynch is president of D. Thomas and Associates, a Kansas City food packaging company he started after completing law school and deciding to raise his family in the Midwest. He and his wife Georgia have three children and five grandchildren.
Their two daughters, Megan and Kara, are Notre Dame graduates – “kind of funny for a guy who was at Notre Dame at the time of `better dead than coed,'” Lynch laughs. The couple’s son Jake graduated from Regis University in Denver.
Along with his family and business, Lynch finds time to contribute to Notre Dame. Lynch has served as the president of Notre Dame’s National Monogram Club and occasionally is called upon to provide informal counsel and guidance.
“Being a part of Notre Dame was great, and anything I can do, I’m happy to do it,” he says.
“Without wearing it on your sleeve, Notre Dame’s Catholic identity is what makes it special,” Lynch offers.
“Obviously, if you’re accepted into Notre Dame, you’ve been given a lot of talent, but Notre Dame teaches you that there is more to life than profit and loss. You have a duty to learn, but you also have a duty to share.”