Blair Kiel

Blair Armstrong Kiel (November 29, 1961 – April 8, 2012) was a four-year starting quarterback and punter/holder for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team, from 1980 to 1983. He played professionally for several teams in the National Football League, the Canadian Football League, and the Arena Football League, and was inducted into the Indiana State Football Hall of Fame in 1998. Kiel worked as an advisor to corporate real estate clients in the Indianapolis area.

Blair Kiel
No. 5, 6, 10, 16
Personal information
Born:November 29, 1961
Columbus, Indiana
Died:April 8, 2012 (aged 50)
Columbus, Indiana
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:211 lb (96 kg)
Career information
High school:Columbus (IN) East
College:Notre Dame
NFL Draft:1984 / Round: 11 / Pick: 281
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career NFL statistics
Passing yards:1,296
Passer rating:75.4
Player stats at
Player stats at


Kiel attended Columbus East High School in Indiana, where he was rated the #3 quarterback in the nation by Parade. Coach Dan Devine offered him a scholarship to the University of Notre Dame, where Kiel earned the starting quarterback job during his freshman year, four games into the 1980 season. The team achieved a 9-0-1 record and the #2 ranking before closing the season with losses at USC (3-20) and to Georgia in the Sugar Bowl (10-17).

Kiel went on to become the sixth all-time leading passer for Notre Dame, and holds the record for the team's longest pass play—a 96-yard bomb to Joe Howard against Georgia Tech in 1981. In his final game, he led the unranked Irish to victory over 13th-ranked Boston College in the Liberty Bowl.


Kiel was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1984 NFL Draft but only saw playing time in the regular season as a holder on kick attempts. He later played in seven games over two seasons with the Indianapolis Colts as both a quarterback and punter, and then spent five years with the Green Bay Packers. Following stints in the Canadian Football League and the Arena Football League, he retired at the end of 1993.


Blair's son Brandon was a successful quarterback for Hamilton Southeastern High School in Fishers, Indiana, earning a scholarship to Indiana University before leaving the football team. Blair has two brothers, Pat and Kevin, who also played football for Columbus East at the same time. Kip went on to Butler University to play football after sustaining an injury. Blair's nephews have gone on to have successful quarterbacking careers as well. Drew Kiel was quarterback for Illinois State while Dusty Kiel earned a scholarship to Indiana University and the youngest, Gunner Kiel, was the top-rated quarterback in the class of 2011 according to ESPN Scouts Inc. and committed to the University of Notre Dame, but later transferred to the University of Cincinnati.[1]

He resided in the Fishers area with his new family and worked as a private quarterback coach. Blair was in the process of developing a program for young athletes to support and educate them during their athletic years, while teaching them how to work through real life situations, pressures, and obstacles they will undoubtedly face. Blair's priority was to teach young athletes the importance of an education and developing a long term life plan.

Kiel died of a heart attack at Columbus Regional Hospital on April 8, 2012 at the age of 50.[2]


  1. ^ Farmer, Douglass (January 17, 2012). "Gunner Kiel to Officially Attend Notre Dame". The Observer. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  2. ^ "Ex-East, Notre Dame Star Blair Kiel Dies at 50". The Republic. April 8, 2012. Archived from the original on April 11, 2012. Retrieved April 9, 2012.

External links

1980 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

The 1980 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame in the 1980 college football season. The team was coached by Dan Devine and played its home games at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.

The 1980 season would be Dan Devine's final year as Notre Dame head coach. In August, he had announced that the upcoming season would be his last. The offense had 248 points for, while the defense gave up 128 points.

1982 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

The 1982 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame during the 1982 NCAA Division I-A football season.

1983 Liberty Bowl

The 1983 Liberty Bowl was an American college football bowl game played on December 29, 1983 at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee. The game pitted the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Boston College Eagles.

Bill Troup

Paul William "Bill" Troup III (April 2, 1951 – December 14, 2013) was a professional American football player. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. An undrafted quarterback from the University of South Carolina, Troup played in seven NFL seasons from 1974 to 1980 for 2 different teams. After being released by Baltimore, Troup went north to the C.F.L.'s Winnipeg Blue Bombers, where he served as Dieter Brock's backup for the 1979 season. He saw his most extensive action for the Colts in 1978, when Bert Jones was injured and Mike Kirkland ineffective.

Bobby Thomason

Robert Lee "Bobby" Thomason (March 26, 1928 – November 5, 2013) was an American football quarterback in the National Football League for the Los Angeles Rams, Green Bay Packers, and the Philadelphia Eagles. He was selected to three Pro Bowls. Thomason played college football at Virginia Military Institute and was drafted in the first round of the 1949 NFL Draft.

Thomason married Jean Pierce in 1951. They had one daughter. Both survived him, as, in 2013, he died of heart failure at the age of 85.

Cincinnati Rockers

The Cincinnati Rockers were an arena football team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They began play in 1992 as an expansion team in the Arena Football League and competed through the 1993 season before they suspended operations due to low attendance. The Rockers played their home games at the Riverfront Coliseum.

Don Majkowski

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Don Milan

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Ed Mioduszewski

Edward Thomas Mioduszewski (born October 28, 1931) is a retired professional American football player for the National Football League's Baltimore Colts. He played quarterback in 12 games, starting one, during the 1953 NFL season. Mioduszewski played college football at William & Mary, where as a senior in 1952 he was named a Second Team All-American by the Associated Press.

Jack Evans (American football)

John "Jack" Vinson Evans (August 5, 1905 - March 11, 1980) was a National Football League quarterback.

Jack Trudeau

Jack Francis Trudeau (born September 9, 1962) is a former professional American football player and morning show co-host on Fox Sports Radio. He was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the second round of the 1986 NFL Draft. A quarterback from the University of Illinois, Trudeau played ten NFL seasons from 1986 to 1995.

List of Green Bay Packers starting quarterbacks

The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) and are the third-oldest franchise in the National Football League (NFL). The club was founded in 1919 by coach, player, and future Hall of Fame inductee Curly Lambeau and sports and telegraph editor George Whitney Calhoun. The Packers competed against local teams for two seasons before entering the NFL in 1921.

The Packers have had 46 starting quarterbacks (QB) in the history of their franchise. The Packers' past starting quarterbacks include Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees Curly Lambeau, Tony Canadeo, Arnie Herber, Bart Starr and Brett Favre. The team's first starting quarterback was Norm Barry, while the longest serving was Brett Favre. The Packers' starting quarterback for the 2018 season was Aaron Rodgers, who was playing in his 14th season in the NFL.

They are listed in order of the date of each player's first start at quarterback for the Packers.

List of Indianapolis Colts starting quarterbacks

The Indianapolis Colts are a professional American football team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are currently members of the South Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL).

The club was officially founded in Baltimore, Maryland in 1953, as the Baltimore Colts, replacing a previous team of that name that folded in 1950. After 31 seasons in Baltimore, Colts owner Robert Irsay moved the team to Indianapolis.

The Colts have had 33 starting quarterbacks (QB) in the history of their franchise. The Colts' past starting quarterbacks include Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Johnny Unitas, as well as the Associated Press National Football League Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) winners Earl Morrall and Bert Jones. Unitas also won the MVP award three times in his career. The franchise's first starting quarterback was Fred Enke, who started 9 games in total for the Colts. The Colts' starting quarterback from 1998 to 2011 was 5-time MVP Peyton Manning. The Colts' current starting quarterback is Andrew Luck.

List of Notre Dame Fighting Irish starting quarterbacks

The following individuals have started games at quarterback for the University of Notre Dame football team, updated through the 2018 season.

The year of induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, if applicable, is designated alongside the respective player's final season.

Matt Kofler

Matthew Joseph Kofler (August 30, 1959 – December 19, 2008) was an American football player and coach. He was a quarterback in the National Football League from 1982 to 1985, playing for the Buffalo Bills and the Indianapolis Colts. He had been head coach at San Diego Mesa College since 2006.

Mike Courey

Michael J. Courey (August 11, 1959 – December 11, 2007) was an American football player and a starting quarterback for the University of Notre Dame.

Mike Courey was born to a teenage mother in Watertown, South Dakota, and at five weeks of age was adopted by Michael and Helen (Schlote) Courey of Sioux City, Iowa. At Bishop Heelan Catholic High School he became an All-State athlete in football, basketball and baseball, and was a Parade All-American when he was given a football scholarship to Notre Dame in 1977.

In his freshman year Courey played halfback for the national champion team, and opened eyes when he completed an option pass for 24 yards in a comeback win at Clemson. In 1978, he was moved to flanker, and in 1979 became a backup quarterback.

As a senior in 1980, Courey won the No. 1 quarterback job and went 3-0 as a starter, including wins over ninth-ranked Purdue and fourteenth-ranked Michigan. But then coach Dan Devine, who had a reputation for being fickle with his QBs, decided to give the starting job to freshman Blair Kiel, believing the underclassman to have a stronger arm. Courey would later lead a tying touchdown drive against Georgia Tech, but would never start another game.

Courey earned his degree in business management, and later became president of the International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades Union Local 214 in Sioux City.

In 2006 Courey was found to have a malignant schwannoma tumor in his back. He succumbed to the cancer nineteen months later, leaving behind three daughters and a son.

Randy Wright

Randall Steven Wright (born January 12, 1961) is a former professional American football quarterback and color commentator who played for the Green Bay Packers from 1984 to 1988 and covered Big Ten football for ESPN for 12 years.

Roger Grove

Roger Robert Grove (June 19, 1908 – December 19, 1986) was a professional American football running back in the National Football League. He played five seasons for the Green Bay Packers including the 1931 team that won the NFL Championship. He lettered at Michigan State in 1928, 1929 and 1930.

Roy McKay (American football)

Roy Dale McKay (February 2, 1920 – May 29, 1969) was a player in the National Football League.

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