College Football Hall of Fame coach Ara Parseghian passed away early Wednesday morning. He was 94.
A Miami (Ohio) graduate, Parseghian played two seasons for the Cleveland Browns before returning to his alma mater as an assistant coach in 1950. He was named head coach a year later and served continuously as a head coach until his retirement in 1974.
Parseghian guided Miami (Ohio) to a 39-6 mark with two MAC championships and three second-place finishes; his 1955 team finished 9-0 and earned a No. 15 ranking in that season's final AP poll. That success spurred Parseghian to Northwestern, where he went 36-35-1 from 1956-63. He led the Wildcats to five winning campaigns in his nine seasons in Evanston and earned the only No. 1 ranking in program history; it took until 2000 for Northwestern to reach five winning seasons after Parseghian's departure.
That success in Northwestern led Parseghian to the holy grail of coaching jobs in the 1960's and the job for which he would become a college football legend: Notre Dame. From 1964-74 Parseghian led the Fighting Irish to a 95-17-4 mark with two national championships, seven AP top-5 finishes and nine top-10 finishes. He and Knute Rockne are the only Notre Dame coaches to win at least 95 games and carry at least an .830 winning percentage.
A statue of Parseghian being carried off the field by his players after beating Texas in the 1971 Cotton Bowl was erected outside Notre Dame Stadium in 2007. He is also included among the statues at Miami's famed Cradle of Coaches.
Parseghian was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1980 and spent his later years serving as a color analyst for ABC and CBS while also raising money through the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation to fight Niemann-Pick disease Type C, a genetic disorder that manifests in children.
He passed in his Granger, Ind., home after battling complications after a surgery to fight infections in his surgically repaired hip.
Our entire program mourns the loss of one of the pillars of our University, Coach Ara Parseghian. pic.twitter.com/nXS3xyei05
— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) August 2, 2017