LEGACY

The Notre Dame Monogram Club traces its roots at the University to 1896 when Frank Hering, the first full-time Irish football coach, envisioned a Varsity Club that would promote sportsmanship and camaraderie for the fewer than 100 student-athletes who competed in four school-sponsored sports: football, basketball, baseball and track.

Hering believed that bringing those varsity athletes together would create an environment conducive and supportive of sports on a collegiate campus and spread enthusiasm and interest into their competitive endeavors. But Hering’s Varsity Club failed to survive in those early and relatively unorganized days of intercollegiate athletics. Athletes and coaches often stayed just one season and were gone the next, moving on to another campus or another job. Sports, at beginning of the 20th century, share no resemblance with today’s college athletics’ landscape.

However, Hering’s idea had merit. In 1916, Notre Dame athletic director and head football coach Jesse Harper, along with an assistant coach named Knute Rockne, revived Hering’s concept and formed the Notre Dame National Monogram Club. Harper wanted the University’s varsity letter winners to unite in promoting spirit, unity, leadership and sportsmanship. He also sought to bring former student-athletes back into the University’s fold as members of its Monogram Club. He believed those who had worn Notre Dame’s colors in varsity competition could play a vital role in maintaining the Irish athletic heritage as well as fostering the special bond that existed between the student-athlete and the University long after graduation.

The Monogram Club has distributed the varsity athletic emblem throughout the years as the University added sports to its list of diverse offerings. The Monogram Club awarded Monograms to Notre Dame’s first African-American student-athlete, Frazier Thompson (track & field), in 1945, and to the first female letter winners, Mary Behler (tennis), Catherine Buzard (fencing), Jane Lammers (tennis), Christina Marciniak (fencing) and Kathleen Valdiserri (fencing) in 1976. The Monogram Club sponsored the 35th anniversary of Irish women’s athletics in 2007.

Currently, there are more than 8,000 Notre Dame Monogram winners living around the world whose shared experience provided them with opportunity and challenge, spiritual and intellectual growth, physical development and friendships across all divides. The Notre Dame Monogram Club serves as the conduit to deepen those special ties to the University and its mission and as a link to past, present and future.

Listed below are Notre Dame’s 26 varsity sports and the years they achieved varsity status.
Football – 1887
Men’s Track & Field – 1889
Baseball – 1891
Men’s Basketball – 1897
Men’s Cross Country – 1923
Men’s Tennis – 1923
Men’s Golf – 1930
Men’s Fencing – 1934
Wrestling – 1955 (ended 1992)
Men’s Swimming & Diving – 1958
Hockey – 1968
Women’s Tennis – 1976
Women’s Fencing – 1976
Women’s Basketball – 1977
Men’s Soccer -1977
Field Hockey – 1978 (ended 1987)
Volleyball – 1980
Women’s Swimming & Diving – 1981
Men’s Lacrosse – 1981
Women’s Cross Country – 1986
Women’s Golf – 1988
Women’s Soccer – 1988
Softball – 1989
Women’s Track & Field – 1991
Women’s Lacrosse – 1996
Women’s Rowing – 1998

Monogram Club Leadership
Here’s a listing of the individuals who have served as president of the Notre Dame Monogram Club:
1915 – Rev. Hugh O’Donnell (’16, football)
1916 – James Phelan (’17, football)
1917 – Francis Andrews (’18, football)
1918-19 – Edward “Slip” Madigan (’20, football)
1920-21 – Gus Desch (’23, football/track and field)
1922-23 – Harvey Brown (’24, football)
1924 – Elmer Layden (’25, football/track and field)
1925 – John Wallace (’26, football)
1926 – Charles Walsh (’27)
1927 – Fritz Wilson (’28)
1928 – August Grams (’29)
1929 – Clarence Donovan (’31, basketball)
1930 – Arthur McMahon (’31, football)
1931 – Nordy Hoffman (’33, football)
1932 – James Harris (’33, football)
1933 – Thomas Roach (’34, football)
1934 – Rocco Schiralli (’35, football)
1935 – Mike Layden (’36, football/track and field)
1936 – Jack Meehan (’20, basketball/track and field)
1936 – John Lataur (’37, football)
1937 – Paul Nowak (’38, basketball)
1938 – Ed Simonich (’39, football)
1939 – Steve Coughlin (’40, track and field)
1940 – William Schmitt (’10, football/track and field)
1941-44, 1959-61 – Chuck Sweeney (’38, football)
1944 – Roger Kiley (’23, football/basketball/baseball)
1945 – Chet Wynne (’22, football/track and field)
1946 – Joe Brandy (’21, football/basketball)
1947 – Joe Boland (’27, football)
1948 – Fred Miller (’29, football)
1949 – Ray Roy (’42, track and field)
1950 – Bill Sheehan (’49, basketball/baseball)
1951 – Frank Miles (’22, football/baseball)
1952 – Mike Kolen (’33, football)
1953 – Joe Abbott (’30, track and field)
1954 – Jack Elder (’30, football/track and field)
1955-56 – Bill Earley (’43, football)
1957 – Paul Lillis (’42, football)
1958 – John Panelli (’49, football)
1962 – Larry “Moon” Mullins (’31, football)
1964 – Leo Barnhorst (’49, basketball)
1965 – Bernie Crimmins (’42, football/baseball)
1968 – John Murphy (’42)
1969 – Bob McBride (’44, football)
1971 – Leo Klier (’46, basketball)
1972 – Leon Hart (’50, football)
1973-74 – Bill Hassett (’47, basketball/baseball)
1975-76 – Ed Mieszowski (’46, football)
1977-78 – Mike Carr (’51, student manager)
1979-81 – Harvey Foster (’39, football)
1982 – Bill Fischer (’49, football)
1983-84 – Jim Lynch (’67, football/track and field)
1985-86 – Bob McGoldrick (’56, student manager)
1987-88 – Lancaster Smith (’50, football)
1989-90 – Martin O’Connor (’51, basketball)
1991-92 – Ray Sobota (’49, track and field)
1993-94 – Jack Stephens (’55, football/basketball)
1995-96 – Dan Shannon (’55, football)
1997-99– Marty Allen (’58, student manager)
1999-2001– Mike Heaton (’68, football/golf)
2001-03– Jim Carroll (’65, football)
2003-05– Dave Duerson (’83, football)
2005-07 – Julie Doyle (’85 volleyball)
2007-09 – Marc Kelly (’82 basketball)
2009-11 – Joe Restic (’79 football)
2011-13 – Dick Nussbaum (’74 & ’77 baseball)
2013-15 – Haley Scott DeMaria (’95 swimming)
2015-17 – Kevin O’Connor (’89 lacrosse)
2017-19 – Terri Vitale (’94, ’95, tennis)
2019-21 – Don Casey (’82, ’83, swimming)