Feb. 8, 2008

By Amanda Bremer, ND Sports Information Student Assistant

Notre Dame’s legacy is that of tradition — a tradition of success, a tradition of work ethic, and perhaps most importantly, a tradition of love for the school. Each member of the Notre Dame family represents aspects of these qualities, but there are those that have come to define tradition in their actions, words, and accomplishments. Senior hockey forward Brian D’Arcy falls into that category.

D’Arcy, who started playing hockey at the age of five, learned the importance of persistence and hard work at the very beginning of his hockey career.

“When I decided I wanted to try and play [hockey], we went and got a pair of skates from a local sporting goods store,” he recalled. “The blade on the skate was crooked, so every time I would skate I would fall over, and everyone just thought I was really bad.”

Eventually it was discovered that the skates were the problem, not a lack of talent. D’Arcy was a member of four AAA state championship teams and a national championship team. After high school, he went on to play two years of junior hockey, including one with the Tri-City Storm of the United States Hockey League (USHL), along with current teammates Mark Van Guilder, Luke Lucyk, and Christian Hanson.

When the time came, making the college decision was easy.

“When I was playing junior hockey, I always wanted to come here [to Notre Dame],” D’Arcy said. “I was being recruited by a couple different schools, but as soon as Notre Dame called I didn’t even bother to take a visit, I knew it was exactly where I wanted to be.”

D’Arcy couldn’t help but develop a love for Notre Dame. The D’Arcy family boasts three Notre Dame graduates, including his great-grandfather (’22), grandfather (’52), and father (’76) along with two St. Mary’s Belles in his mother and sister.

D’Arcy recalls that Notre Dame athletics were a big part of his childhood.

“As a kid we came down here for all the football games, watched every game on television,” he said. “We’ve actually been coming to Notre Dame hockey games since [current assistant] Coach (Andy) Slaggert was playing here.”

Since his arrival at Notre Dame, Darcy has continued to work hard in practice, trying to improve his play. Over D’Arcy’s four-year career, he has played in 16 games, recorded two shots and six penalty minutes.

“It is frustrating, and one of the guys on the team asked me about it this year,” he said when asked about his limited playing time. “The only answer I could give was `it’s Notre Dame’, and I would do anything for Notre Dame. As long as I’m helping this program get to where I think it should be, then I’m happy.”

Despite limited game action, D’Arcy fills a vital role on the team.

“My role has always been as a hard worker,” he noted. “I try to make guys better on the team, pushing them in practice. If they have trouble in the classroom I’m always there, helping them out too.”

“I try to lead by example,” D’Arcy added. “I’m not that vocal in the locker room, but I try to live the way I think a Notre Dame hockey player should.”

D’Arcy has learned to take on different roles since coming to Notre Dame. His newest role is that of a forward, switching from his natural position at defense. D’Arcy was up to the test and learned his new position in only a couple weeks.

“The transition wasn’t completely smooth at first,” he remembered. “The biggest challenge was wanting to stay in the back of the play. I had to remind myself to keep going forward. Besides that it wasn’t too bad, because as a defenseman you know where everyone is going to be.”

His work ethic on the ice certainly translates to the classroom. A few numbers jump out when reviewing D’Arcy’s academic record: 3.913 (his cumulative grade-point average), and three (the number of times he has recorded a perfect 4.0 semester GPA). These impressive statistics put him among the elite of his class and as one of the top student-athletes at Notre Dame.

D’Arcy credits his success to personal maturity and an eagerness to learn.

“I was two years out of high school,” he said. “I think you mature a little bit, and are excited to get back to school. You get back into it and want to do something you are interested in.”

Despite the excitement to get back to school, he was unsure what career path he wanted to pursue. He came in as a history major, but didn’t know what he really wanted to do. However, during D’Arcy’s freshman year, he met Joe Zurenko (’05), then a senior on the team, and they became close friends. Zurenko was a key influence, and helped him to unlock a career path.

“After I got to know him better I started to ask him about what he was studying, and where he was going to work,” D’Arcy commented. “He went to work at Ernst and Young, and he got me really interested in finance.”

Further conversations with Zurenko continued to raise D’Arcy’s interest in the business world, and led him to complete an internship in the industry. The next year, D’Arcy decided to become an economics and history double major.

“It’s funny because when I was a freshman I couldn’t have told you what a stock was,” he joked.

Overall, D’Arcy has had a successful Notre Dame career, balancing hockey with his course load, but also making fond memories to look back on. The two that he puts at the top of his list are getting engaged at The Grotto, and the first time he put on a Notre Dame jersey.

D’Arcy also has plenty to look forward to following graduation, starting with a June wedding and then a job with noted financial firm Goldman Sachs in New York starting in July.

Even after his last lap is taken at the Joyce Center, and the last walk across campus is complete, the legacy of Notre Dame will live on in Brian D’Arcy throughout his life. After all, tradition never graduates.

— ND —