Fr. Hesburgh’s Athletic Influence

Author: Claire Kramer

When Fr. Hesburgh was appointed president in 1952, Notre Dame was widely known for its football prowess. Famed coach Frank Leahy had led the Irish to four national championships and had not lost a single game from 1946 to 1949. When reporters came to cover Hesburgh’s appointment, they brought along a football, hoping to capture a picture of the newest president of a “football school.” When they asked him to pose with the pigskin, he refused. In later press conferences, more reporters asked about the famed football team.…

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