Nov. 3, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Take some notice.
That is a phrase that the Irish faithful should be shouting at the top of their lungs. Notre Dame head coach Bob Davie finally got the recognition, he so rightfully deserved.
On Wednesday, the Football News announced the semi-finalists for the coach-of-the-year award and Davie is one of 10. His is listed with the likes of Clemson’s Tommy Bowden, Oregon’s Mike Bellotti and with former Notre Dame coach, Lou Holtz, who now coaches at South Carolina.
Rather than bask in the glow of the positive press, the Coach shunned the spotlight. After Wednesday’s practice, he redirected the focus from him to his team just like any other decent coach would do.
“It makes me proud that people see that this football team has improved and that they have overcome some obstacles earlier this year that they are respected for,” Davie said about the honor.
After having to deal with so much negative press, it is good to hear that the football elite are starting to take notice. However, most of the football world can not see Davie’s new found intensity.
Sure, they can tune into his press conferences twice a week and hear him say how improved this team really is. They can see his fiery stare on the sideline. They can see he how he reads the opposing team’s offense and tries to counter it with his defense.
Yet, they can not see the rest.
Davie retains an office in the Joyce Center, along with every other coach, but he rarely uses it. Instead, you can find him at all times in Notre Dame stadium. He and his troops are hunkered down in the locker room devising plans for the upcoming games.
After practice, he no longer sidesteps criticism of his team but takes it head on. The coach not only answers questions about his team’s problems but he points out problems himself.
Davie no longer shows any fear.
He is that way because he has seen the worst cases this season. He faced one the nation’s toughest schedules and survived. He lost his starting quarterback and found a talented freshman to replace him. He lost his defensive leader in Grant Irons and watched as another emerged in the likes of Rocky Boiman.
If Football News opts to not select Davie as coach-of-the-year, it will not be a big deal to him. What is more important to this coach, is that this team succeeds and only that. Now if that is not proof enough that he deserves the honor, then what is?