May 3, 2005
A spirited contingent of nearly 130 Notre Dame football alums participated in Monogram Club-sponsored events during the Blue Gold Festival weekend, on April 22-23. See linked photo galleries above for pictures from the Friday-night dinner and the ever-popular Alumni Flag-Football game.
Many of the football alums in attendance took advantage of exclusive tours (on April 22 and 23) of the Guglielmino Athletic Complex, which is due to open in late summer/early fall.
A large crowd of some 600 individuals – football alums and their guests – were on hand Friday night in the Joyce Center arena for a dinner sponsored by Famous Dave’s Barbecue. The tailgate-style dinner gave the alums the chance to meet with the 2005 Notre Dame football team and coaching staff. Speakers included Monogram Club executive director Jim Fraleigh and past president Jim Carroll (captain of Ara Parseghian’s first team, in 1964) while current head coach Charlie Weis and 2005 team captains Brandon Hoyte and Brady Quinn also addressed the crowd.
The highlight of the Friday-night dinner came when three of the honorary coaches for the Blue-Gold Game – former Notre Dame greats Chris Zorich, Joe Montana and Joe Theismann – each spoke to the crowd as a surprise addition to the agenda.
The Friday-night dinner also included the annual presentation of the “Total Package Award” to 17 players from the 2004 Notre Dame football team. The awards are presented by the staff from the Academic Services for Student-Athletes and recognize members of the football team who meet various criteria, including a minimum 3.0 GPA, receiving a monogram and personal character on and off the field.
The six players who received the Total Package honor for the second straight year included: Victor Abiamari, Brian Beidatsch, Hoyte, Anthony Salvador, Dan Santucci and Dan Stevenson. Other recipients from the 2004 team included: John Carlson, Derek Landri, Trevor Laws, Mark LeVoir, Brian Mattes, Corey Mays, Chinedum Ndukwe, Rashon Powers-Neal, Quinn, Scott Raridon and Matt Shelton.
Coach Weis also was presented a surprise Total Package Award, with corresponding plaque and director’s chair.
The evening concluded for the football alums and their guests with a cocktail reception in the Monogram Room, with 250 in attendance.
Nearly 50 former players were on the rosters for the Alumni Flag Football game and the pregame events included a Mass with Rev. James Riehle, C.S.C. (executive director emeritus of the Monogram Club) in the Notre Dame Stadium visitors locker room. Many football alums who were not competing in the flag-football game also attended the Mass, which proved to be one of the most memorable and meaningful moments of the weekend. Following the flag-football game, a lunch buffet for 300 (football alums and guests) was held at a tent by the north tunnel of Notre Dame Stadium – prior to the annual Blue-Gold game.
All football alums who participated in the weekend events received an Adidas Blue-Gold Festival t-shirt and ceremonial pen while the flag-football participants also received a pair of Adidas shorts.
The Gold team – coached by current assistant athletic director and former Notre Dame assistant coach Tony Yelovich – won the Alumni Flag-Football game by a score of 10-0. Pat Steenberge connected with Matt Dingens on a 20-yard TD, as Dingens carried a couple defenders with him before rumbling in for the score. Pat McLaughlin added a field goal for the Gold to complete the scoring.
Blair Kiel was coaxed out of the stands to quarterback the Blue team and hooked up with Fran MacDonald on a diving 30-yard catch. Another current Notre Dame assistant AD (and former Irish player and assistant coach), Brian Boulac, served as coach of the Blue team.
The fun-filled alumni game provided plenty of camaraderie for all involved and included many of the trappings from a real game – including referees, PA announcer Mike Collins and a special announcement from Sgt. Tim McCarthy.
The 43 alums on the flag-football rosters included 1950s fullback Jack Landry (dnp) and three players from the 1960s – RB Bob Gladieux, DE Chick Lauck and OT Bill Snyder – plus five from the early 1970s: McLaughlin, Steenberge, DE Mike Frantz, SE Jack Stephan and SE Willie Townsend.
Five others from the late 1970s also were on the flag-football rosters: McDonald, FB Al Bucci, TE Dennis Grindinger, WR Mark Norman and TE Robin Weber. The largest contingent (9) hailed from the early 1980s, with: Kiel, RB Phil Carter, DT Greg Dingens, DB Joe Johnson, OT Mike Perrino, OG Ron Plantz, LB Jack Shields, RB Chris Smith and RB/WR Gregory Williamson.
Rounding out the flag-football rosters were six players from the late 1980s – LB/DL Matt Dingens, LB Greg Harris, CB Marv Spence, OT Byron Spruell, WR Reggie Ward and TE Rod West (broken foot/helped coach) – plus early 1990s players such as WR Jeff Baker, RB Lee Becton, DT Brian Hamilton and DB Mark Monahan; seven alums from the late ’90s: DB Paul Grimm, SS Benny Guilbeaux, LB Matt Kunz, DB Tim Lynch, TE/QB John Shingler, LB Mike Tribe and manager Art Monohan; and finally recent players such as WR Jay Johnson, TE Patrick Nally and WR Brian Oleniczak.
Here are other football alums (players and student managers) who participated in the Blue-Gold weekend events:
1940s – John Ray, Larry Ryan and Joe Yonto
1950s – Marty Allen, Leo Callaghan, James Milota, Charles Puntillo and Thomas Seaman
1960s – Tony Carey, Jim Carroll, Joe Farrell, David Humenik, Bill Kutzavitch, Tim Monahan, Norm Nicola, Robert Nicolazzi, Jim Seymour, Pete Sullivan and Arunas Vasys
Early 1970s – John Dampeer, Dennis Gutkowski, Joe Haggar, Brian Lewallen, Jim MacDonald, Greg Marx, Joseph Maxim, Mike McCoy, Pat McGraw, Dewey Poskon, Peter Schivarelli and Joe Theismann
Late 1970s – Bob Burger, Tom Domin, Terry Eurick, Nick Fedorenko, Tom Gullickson, Ken Haffey, Randy Harrison, Ted Horansky, Phil Johnson, Joe Montana, Terry Murphy, Tim Simon and Jim Weiler
Early 1980s – Mark Bavaro, Anthony Belden, Patrick Boggs, Tom Burger, Angel Fasano, Mike Favorite, Steve Gibson, Kevin Griffith, Thomas E. Murphy, Jack Shields, Bill Siewe and Jerry Weinle
Late 1980s – Brad Alge, Terry Andrysiak, Tim Brown, Pat Eilers, Mike Kennelly Bryan Fenton, Tom Freeman, Mike Kiernan, Mike Kovaleski, Chuck Lanza, George Marshall. Brian Moffitt, Allen Pinkett, Anthony Puntillo, Steve Roddy, Tim Ryan, Tim Scannell and Corny Southall
1990s – Reggie Brooks, Reggie Fleurima, Ben Foos, Tracy Graham, Adrian Jarrell, Mirko Jurkovic, Mike Seamon, Renaldo Wynn and Chris Zorich
2000s – Omar Jenkins, Joe Recendez and Casey Robin