In the 25 days leading up to college football's championship game between No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Alabama at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, the Chattanooga Times Free Press is counting down the traditions and memorable moments involving the Irish and the Crimson Tide. Today is No. 6.
Try to imagine Knute Rockne in today's world of college football.
Rockne coached Notre Dame to a 105-12-5 record and to six national championships from 1918 to 1930, and he believed that an offensive game plan should be split half and half between running and passing. He also believed in expanding his school's brand, which is why he took the Fighting Irish to Nebraska, Southern Cal, Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech at a time when programs rarely left their regions.
Those traits are shared by many in today's game, but Rockne had to juggle a bit more during his day.
When he wasn't coaching football, Rockne was serving as Notre Dame's athletic director, business manager, track coach and equipment manager. He was the principal designer of Notre Dame Stadium, authored three books, wrote a weekly column in the student newspaper and, in his last season, opened a stock brokerage firm in South Bend.
The father of four enjoyed growing food with his wife in the family garden, made several public speeches a year and served as a spokesman for Studebaker.
Rockne worked as a mail dispatcher with the Chicago Post Office for four years after high school to save enough money to attend Notre Dame. During his time as a student, he competed in football and track, played flute in the school orchestra and took a major role in every student play.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...