Feb. 28, 2007
Legendary former University of Notre Dame head football coaches Ara Parseghian and Lou Holtz will serve as coaches for the 2007 Blue-Gold Spring Football Festival, presented by Home Run Inn Pizza, current Irish head coach Charlie Weis announced Wednesday. Parseghian will coach one team and be assisted by two of his former assistants coaches, Brian Boulac and Joe Yonto. Former Irish great Ross Browner will serve as honorary captain for the team. Holtz will be assisted by Foge Fazio and Tony Yelovich who both served on Holtz’ staff. Tony Rice will be the honorary captain for the team coached by Holtz.
The 2007 Blue-Gold Spring Football Festival, presented by Home Run Inn Pizza, will take place April 20-22 with the Blue-Gold Game kicking off Saturday, April 21 at 1:35 p.m. in Notre Dame Stadium. Tickets for the game will go on sale Monday, March 26 and information regarding ticket packages will be available on UND.com in the near future. Four of Notre Dame’s spring athletics programs will host competitions during the Festival weekend and Saturday, April 21 will also feature a Fan Fest and Football Alumni Flag Football Game. Details for all weekend events will be available in the near future on UND.com.
Parseghian coached Notre Dame from 1964-74, compiling a 95-17-4 record (.836 winning percentage). He helped lead the Irish to consensus national championships in 1966 and 1973 and was named national coach of the year in 1964. Currently retired and living part of the year in South Bend, Parseghian coached 39 players that received first-team All-America accolades during his tenure at Notre Dame and nine of his 11 teams finished the year ranked in the top 10 of the final Associated Press poll. He was selected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1980.
Holtz served as Irish head coach from 1986-96, coached more games than any other Notre Dame head coach and is second to Knute Rockne in total victories. Holtz guided the Irish to a 100-30-2 record in his 11 seasons and helped Notre Dame claim its 11th consensus national championship in 1988. Now serving as an ESPN college football analyst, Holtz took the Irish to nine straight New Year’s Day bowl games from 1987-95 and coached Notre Dame to finishes of sixth or better in the final Associated Press poll in five seasons.
Boulac coached at Notre Dame from 1970-82, coaching the offensive line on Parseghian’s staff from 1970-74. He is currently an assistant athletics director at Notre Dame (as general manager of the Joyce Center) and will help coach the offense in the Blue-Gold game. Yonto served under both Parseghian and Holtz and will aid the defense. Yonto was the assistant defensive line coach from 1964-68 and the defensive line coach from both 1969-80 and 1986-87. He is currently retired and resides in South Bend.
Fazio was the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame from 1986-87 and will coach the defense for Holtz again at the Blue-Gold game. After numerous stints in the NFL, Fazio lives in Pittsburgh and still serves as a consultant for NFL teams. Yelovich coached a number of positions during his time on the Notre Dame coaching staff from 1986-94. He served as the offensive line coach from 1986-88, coached the guards and centers in 1988, wide receivers in 1989, tight ends in 1990 and kickers from 1991-94 on top of being the recruiting coordinator from 1991-94. Yelovich will coach the offense and is currently an assistant athletics director at Notre Dame, working in the area of game management.
A consensus All-American in 1976 and 1977 as a defensive end, Browner was a four-year starter who played on both the 1973 and 1977 Irish national championship teams. Recruited to Notre Dame by Parseghian, Browner was the recipient of the 1976 Outland Trophy and the 1977 Lombardi Trophy and still holds numerous defensive school records including most tackles for loss in a season and career and most career tackles by a defensive lineman. He currently lives in Nashville, Tenn. Rice was recruited to Notre Dame by Holtz and was quarterback on the last Irish national championship team in 1988. He helped lead Notre Dame to a 12-0 record in 1988 and was a dual threat in the backfield as he passed for 1,176 yards and eight touchdowns while rushing for 700 yards and nine scores. In 1989, Rice received the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy balloting while helping the Irish record a 12-1 record. He currently resides in Mishawaka, Ind.