March 16, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Rev. Clarence R. Durbin, C.S.C., men’s golf coach at the University of Notre Dame for 12 years from 1961-62 through the 1972-73 season, died Wednesday on the Notre Dame campus after a brief illness. He was 94.
A 1941 Notre Dame graduate, Father Durbin returned to his alma mater in 1959, spending two years as assistant golf coach before taking over as head coach in June 1961.
His first five teams all advanced to the NCAA Championships, compiling respective finishes of 17th, 15th, fourth, 18th and 11th. His first seven teams combined for a 90-42-3 dual match record – including a 16-2 mark in 1966 – before the Irish moved to tournament format competition starting with the 1968-69 season.
Among the top individuals Father Durbin tutored included Tom Grace (third round of NCAA Championship in ’62), Pat Danahy (third round in ’64) and Rian McNally (tie for 19th in ’66).
Father Durbin coached five individuals who earned All-America honors – Grace (third team in ’62), Danahy (third team in ’64), James Hiniker (honorable mention in ’65), Charles McLaughlin (honorable mention in ’66) and Bob Wilson (honorable mention in ’69).
Born in Tulsa, Okla., Father Durbin went from Notre Dame to Washington, D.C., for theological training at Holy Cross College. He was ordained at Sacred Heart Church, on the Notre Dame campus in June 1945. After a year of graduate work at Harvard in the field of economics he was assigned to teach at the University of Portland, serving there from 1946 to 1959 while also working as the university’s business manager and controller.
Father Durbin was named a Fellow of Claremont Graduate School in 1953, he served as president of the NCAA Golf Coaches Association in 1968-69, and he was considered an innovator in teaching the economics of consumption and other environmentally-related themes. He retired from teaching at Notre Dame in 1978.
Viewing is set for 3:30-9:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday (March 16) in the Chapel of Moreau Seminary at Notre Dame, with a wake service at 7:30 p.m. A funeral mass will be celebrated at 3:30 p.m. EDT on Monday (March 17) at the Basilica of The Sacred Heart on the Notre Dame campus. Memorial contributions to support the mission and ministries of the Priests of Holy Cross, Indiana Province, may be made to Priests of Holy Cross, Indiana Province, Office of Development, P.O. Box 765, Notre Dame, IN, 46556.
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