New Members Of The ND Monogram Club Board Of Directors
CHRIS KANE was a four-year letterwinner at Notre Dame, where he helped the Irish tennis team win 76 percent of its matches from 1972-75 (69-22) while playing for Hall of Fame coach Tom Fallon. A 15-time state champion and two-time national champion during his junior tennis days, Kane went on to play No. 1 singles and doubles at Notre Dame. He graduated in 1975 with a government degree before receiving his law degree from the University of San Diego, near his hometown of Rancho Santa Fe.
Kane spent eight years during the 1980s as an assistant professor of business administration at Dominican University in River Forest Ill., teaching business law. He also has spent the past 20 years as an attorney in private practice in Barrington, Ill., with his practice concentrated in real estate, corporate and commercial litigation.
Kane and his wife, the former Susan Skowron (St. Mary’s ’75), were married three weeks following his graduation. The couple resides in Barrington and are the parents of three children: Melissa (a junior accounting major at Notre Dame, living in Breen-Phillips Hall), Emily (a junior at Loyola Academy High School) and third-grade son Christopher. Chris and Melissa Kane currently are ranked No. 16 nationally in the father/daughter division.
MARC KELLY was a popular four-year walkon with the Irish basketball team during the late 1970s and early `80s before embarking on a career in law. He was elected a superior court judge by the voters of Orange County, Calif., in March of 2000, and currently is sitting as a superior court trial judge hearing civil and criminal cases.
A native of La Crescenta, Calif., Kelly was a two-year captain of the Crescenta Valley High School basketball team and led the team to three league titles and a combined record of 72-13 during that stretch. He averaged 26.2 points per game as a prep sophomore and set a school record by averaging six steals per game as a senior in 1977-78, when he earned first team all-league honors on a team that finished 26-4.
Kelly earned the nickname “Movie Man” at Notre Dame, due to his acting role in the 1978 movie Fast Break, in which he played on a starting five that included Bernard King, Mike Warren, Larry Farmer and Raymond Townsend. He went on to appear in 45 games during four seasons as a walk-on guard at Notre Dame, with his teammates including the likes of Bill Laimbeer, Orlando Woolridge, Bill Hanzlik, John Paxson, Kelly Tripucka, Rich Branning and Tracy Jackson.
As one of just two seniors on the 1981-82 team, Kelly was a regular member of the travelling squad and earned a varsity monogram before graduating with a degree in economics. He also coached a team led by Tripucka to the championship of the 1981 Bookstore Basketball campus-wide tournament.
Kelly spent the 1982-83 season playing professionally in Ireland with the Belfast-based Annadale club team, averaging 28 ppg while leading Annadale to the Division II co-championship of the Irish Basketball League. He then attended the University of San Diego School of Law, graduating in1987, and served the next 12 years as a senior deputy district attorney in Orange County. His cases produced a conviction rate of 95%-plus for violent crimes.
Kelly and his wife, the former Sara Heydorff, were married in 1986 and currently reside in Newport Beach with their sons Will (11) and Connor (7). Kelly serves as a youth soccer and basketball coach and is an active tennis player, recently teaming with seven-time Grand Slam winner Mats Wilander to win the Newport Beach Senior Tour Pro-Am Championship.
KEVIN O’CONNOR-who made a strong bid for the U.S. Congress in 1998-currently serves as a trial lawyer for Day, Berry and Howard, LLP, in Hartford, Conn. His areas of expertise include securities and banking enforcement as well as complex litigation, including the defense of securities, insurance and market conduct class actions. He also serves as a corporate counsel and chief legal officer for his hometown town of West Hartford.
As a 1998 U.S. Congress candidate from Connecticut’s first district, O’Connor was endorsed by the Hartford Courant and received that district’s highest vote percentage for a republican candidate in 30 years.
An all-conference lacrosse player at Hall High School, O’Connor went on to be a 1989 team captain and a first team all-Midwest defenseman as a senior at Notre Dame, where he also was president of Cavanaugh Hall. A two-year starter with the Irish while playing three seasons under Rich O’Leary and one for current head coach Kevin Corrigan, O’Connor appeared in 41 career games-including 37 of 38 during his final three seasons-and graduated with honors in 1989, as a government major.
O’Connor went on to graduate in 1992 with high honors and fifth in his class from the University of Connecticut School of Law in Hartford, Conn. He served as notes and comments editor of the Law Review in 1991-92 and served as president of the student bar association. He was presented with the Wickersham Award, recognizing excellence in the study of constitutional law, and the Foundation Prize, which awards outstanding service to the law school.
Prior to joining Day, Berry and Howard, O’Connor spent 1998-99 as an instructor in lawyering process at the University of Connecticut School of Law. He was a litigation associate from 1997-99 with LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, LLP, and served from 1995-97 as a staff attorney and then a senior counsel with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement, in Washington, D.C. He was an adjunct professor of law at George Washington University in 1996-97 and a litigation associate with New York-based Cahill, Gordon & Reindel from ’93-`95 (after serving as a summer associate there in ’91). He also clerked from ’92-`93 with The Honorable William H. Timbers in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
O’Connor has served as a co-author for several articles in regional law and business publications and currently serves as a political analyst for his local CBS affiliate, WFSB. He is a board member of several organizations in the Hartford area, including the Foundation for Advancement of Catholic Schools, the Rogers African American Cultural Center and Riverfront Recapture. O’Connor and his wife Kathleen are the parents of a baby girl, Erin.
JIM SEYMOUR was a standout wide receiver at Notre Dame during the late 1960s, earning All-America honors during each of his three varsity seasons while establishing numerous Irish records (many of which still stand). His post-playing days have been spent running the BGS Insurance Agency, which Seymour helped found in 1973 in Deerfield, Ill.
Raised in Berkley, Mich., Seymour attended Shrine High School in nearby Royal Oak, where he was an All-American on the gridiron and was an all-state performer in the hurdles, in addition to playing basketball.
Seymour developed a strong connection with quarterback Terry Hanratty on Notre Dame’s 1965 freshman team and the unknown duo-later to be known as “Fling and Cling” while earning cover spots on Time and Sports Illustrated-burst onto the scene in the 1966 opener versus Purdue. In that 26-14 victory, Seymour established ND records for receptions (13) and reception yards (276) while becoming the fifth Irish player ever to make three TD catches in a game (the first coming on a memorable 84-yard play). Those marks have remained securely in the Notre Dame record book, as no Irish receiver has managed more than 200 yards since ’66 while none has latched onto more than 10 catches in a game since 1970.
Considered a unique talent for his time-with a time of 10-flat in the 100-yard dash, huge and soft hands, crafty moves and a 6-4, 205-pound frame that made him taller than the starting offensive linemen-Seymour played a leading role in helping Notre Dame win the 1966 national championship, in Ara Parseghian’s third season as head coach. He made 11 catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns the final game of the ’66 season, a 51-0 win at USC that clinched the national title. Seymour’s 2,113 career receiving yards (on 138 catches) still rank fourth in ND history while he retains Irish records for most catches per game in a career (5.3), yards per game in a season (123.1 in `66) and ypg in a career (81.3).
Seymour married Nancy Garvey in the late 1960s and played three seasons with the Chicago Bears (1970-72) while settling into residence in Deerfield, Ill., where he watched the development of future ND football player-and fellow Monogram Club board member-John Sweeney.
Seymour has been involved with numerous children’s charities in the Chicago area and was a 2001 inductee into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame. One of his three sons, Jim, Jr., is a 1992 Notre Dame graduate and attended school with Kelly Hanratty (the daughter of Seymour’s former signalcaller).
JOHN SWEENEY currently is moving with his family to Houston, Texas, where he will serve as an associate professor of surgery at the prestigious Baylor College of Medicine (a private institution that moved to Houston in 1949 and is separate from Baylor University). Sweeney was a versatile performer during his Notre Dame career-head coach Gerry Faust dubbed him an “irreplaceable” player-starting at running back and also playing some tight end while ranking as one of the squad’s top special-teams players.
A Chicago-area native, Sweeney set a Deerfield High School record as a junior in 1977, when he rushed for 1,035 yards in seven games. He went on to start 10 games and played the most minutes on offense by any Notre Dame freshman in 1979, when his solid blocking helped pave the way for Vagas Ferguson’s record-setting season rushing total of 1,437 yards. He started all 12 games as a sophomore on Dan Devine’s 1980 team while platooning in the backfield, ranking as the team’s third-leading rusher with 202 yards on 50 carries. As a junior during Faust’s first season (1981), Sweeney started eight games, played the most minutes of any Irish runningback and scored on a pass play versus Penn State.
Known throughout his career for a constant smile (labeled the “gridiron grin”) and a love for the basics of the game-such as practice, blocking, contact, catching and hard-nosed play-Sweeney served as the Irish special teams captain in 1982 (when he also helped fill in at tight end). His many key special-teams roles included serving as the center of the wedge on returns while being the last blocker on punts and the corner blocker on PATs and field goals.
After graduating from Notre Dame in 1983 with a degree in pre-professional studies, Sweeney attended Rush Medical School in Chicago, graduating in 1988. He then worked in Tampa at the University of South Florida until 1995, spending five years in surgery training and two years on a research fellowship. Sweeney spent the past six years as an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Michigan, in addition to serving as the chief of surgery at the Ann Arbor V.A. Medical Center (`97-’99) and the director of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) from 1999-2001. He now is set to join the Baylor College of Medicine that is known for its prestigious MIS Center and its founder Michael DeBakey, who helped revolutionize heart surgery.
Sweeney and his wife, the former Patty Cooney (whose father Jim was a varsity swimmer at Notre Dame in the 1960s), were married in 1989 and are the parents of three sons and three daughters, ranging in age from 1-10.
Sweeney-whose father Jim was a walkon member of the Notre Dame football teams in the late 1940s-attended his first Notre Dame football game as a seven-year old, watching the 1968 Irish defeat Oklahoma 45-21. Sweeney’s childhood heroes ironically included Jim Seymour-who has joined Sweeney on the Monogram Club’s five-member board of directors through 2004 (Seymour moved to Deerfield in the 1970s while playing with the Chicago Bears and lived near the Sweeney household … and Seymour later watched Sweeney play during his prep career).