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Fighting Irish Football Coach Signs Contract Extension

Aug. 5, 1999

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame football coach Bob Davie has reached agreement with University officials on an extension to his contract, now making him the Irish head coach through the 2003 season.

Davie heads into his third season as head coach in 1999 after taking over in ’97 following three seasons as Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator. He coached the Irish to a 9-3 mark in ’98 and holds a 16-9 overall record in two seasons, including post-season bowl appearances both years. His original five-year agreement with the University would have taken him through the 2001 season.

“The reason for the contract at this time is to reward Bob Davie for what he has accomplished in his first two years as head coach,” said Irish director of athletics Mike Wadsworth.

“People focus at times on wins and losses, and clearly there has been a significant advance in that respect in his second year. What has been most impressive is the foundation he has built for long-term success. He has reorganized our recruiting program and produced two successive classes that have been amongst the most promising we have had in years.

“He has brought together a very strong staff, at a time when top assistant coaches at the collegiate level are at a premium. We all are conscious of wanting to hold this staff together, and we would expect that Bob’s extension plays a role in retaining them.

“In managing and evaluating his staff, Bob takes very seriously the role of the coaches as teachers, with responsibility for the personal development of the student-athletes while they are here on campus. Those are values that are critical to have at Notre Dame, and we applaud that — and that’s one of the reasons why we expect Bob Davie to be successful here for a long period of time.

“In Bob’s first two years he has dealt with some things not of his making. His maturity dealing with these issues, and his ability to remain focused on the job, further underscores the belief that he is the leader we want for our program.

“Yes, the idea of extending an initial contract does involve something of a change in policy. We recognize there are issues to deal with in recruiting if a coach does not have a long-term contract, and that may be used against us. Also, when it comes to retention of staff, our hope is that our assistant coaches will take note of the commitment that has been made to Bob. When you look at the realities of what is taking place today, there is good reason for us to make this move.”