Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Willingham Listed As One Of The Most Powerful People In Sports

Jan. 13, 2003

Notre Dame football coach Tyrone Willingham stands 39th in the Power 100 annual listing of most powerful people in sports by The Sporting News – and he’s the only coach at any level listed among those 100 individuals.

Willingham, who last month was named Sportsman of the Year by The Sporting News, makes the list in the Jan. 13. issue of TSN, while earning the comment. “Restored a crucial institution to power while showing up college football’s minority-hiring record.”

Willingham, whose team finished 10-3 in 2002 (after a 5-6 record in ’01), saw his first Irish squad double the win total from the previous season. The only other times in Notre Dame football history that happened came in the following season:

  • 1964 (Ara Parseghian’s first team finished 9-1, after 2-7 in ’63).
  • 1957 (Terry Brennan’s fourth team finished 7-3, after 2-8 in ’56 — Paul Hornung’s Heisman Trophy-winning season).
  • 1935 (Elmer Layden’s first team went 6-3, after 3-5-1 in ’34).
  • 1919 (Knute Rockne’s second team went 9-0, after 3-1-2 in ’81).
  • 1893 (that squad went 4-1, after 1-0-1 in 1892, neither team with a full-time head coach).