Rev. James Riehle, C.S.C. (1924-2008)

Rev. James Riehle, C.S.C., Remembered During Monday Mass

Nov. 3, 2008

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A long list of current and former University of Notre Dame athletics coaches and administrators came to pay tribute today to longtime athletic chaplain and Notre Dame Monogram Club executive director Rev. James Riehle, C.S.C.

A funeral Mass for Riehle, who died last Wednesday, was celebrated this afternoon at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the Notre Dame campus.

Among pallbearers were former Notre Dame hockey coach Charles “Lefty” Smith (1968/69-1986/87), Notre Dame assistant athletics director and former assistant football coach Brian Boulac, former Irish football captain and former Monogram Club president Jim Carroll, former Monogram Club president and former Irish football player Mike Heaton, and current Monogram Club executive director Jim Fraleigh.

Serving as honorary pallbearers were former Notre Dame football coaches Ara Parseghian (1964-74), Gerry Faust (1981-85) and Lou Holtz (1986-96), current Irish football coach Charlie Weis, former Irish men’s basketball coach Richard “Digger” Phelps (1971/72-1990/91), current Notre Dame men’s and women’s basketball coaches Mike Brey and Muffet McGraw — and former Notre Dame athletics directors Dick Rosenthal (1987-95) and Kevin White (2000-2008).

One of the readers at the Mass was former Monogram Club president Marty Allen. Others in attendance today included former University president Rev. Edward Malloy, C.S.C., former Monogram Club president and Irish football captain Jim Lynch, former Monogram Club president and former Irish volleyball player Julie Doyle, former Monogram Club executive director and current senior associate athletics director Bill Scholl, former South Bend mayor and Indiana Governor Joe Kernan (who also played baseball at Notre Dame), current athletics director Jack Swarbrick and 1980 football captain John Scully. Among those attending the visitation Sunday was former Notre Dame football coach Bob Davie (1997-2001).

Former Notre Dame president Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., spoke at the Mass, describing how he first met Riehle on the second floor of Badin Hall (where Hesburgh lived) when Riehle first returned to Notre Dame as a student after World War II. Hesburgh talked about breaking the news of the death of Riehle’s father to him – and how Riehle, as the University’s “prefect of discipline,” played a major role in maintaining peace among students on campus during the Vietnam war years.

“Jim also was enamored with the wonderful tradition of sports at Notre Dame–and he was the greatest friend our athletes had. I can’t tell you how many medals of Our Lady he distributed to our athletes before games. There was no question about his love for our students, their competitive nature and their spirit.” said Hesburgh.

“He was there when student-athletes needed him – and he was there with firmness and with love, as a friend and as a mentor. He was one of the great ones here in a quiet way.”

Presiding at the mass was Rev. Anthony V. Szakaly, C.S.C., Assistant Provincial of the Indiana Province of the Congregation of Holy Cross.

— ND —