Terry Brennan

Terence Patrick Brennan (born June 11, 1928) is a former American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at the University of Notre Dame from 1954 to 1958, compiling a record of 32–18.

Terry Brennan
Biographical details
BornJune 11, 1928 (age 90)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Playing career
1945–1948Notre Dame
Position(s)Halfback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1949–1952Chicago Mount Carmel HS (IL)
1953Notre Dame (freshmen)
1954–1958Notre Dame
Head coaching record
Overall32–18 (college)

Early life and playing career

A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and a standout multi-sport athlete at Marquette University High School, Brennan played halfback at Notre Dame from 1945 to 1948, graduating in 1949.

Coaching career

After graduating from Notre Dame, Brennan coached at Mount Carmel High School in Chicago and won three successive city championships. Brennan returned to Notre Dame in 1953 as freshman football coach and succeeded Frank Leahy as head coach the following year. When asked if he thought he was too young to be named head coach at the age of 25, Brennan replied, "Oh, I don't know. I'll be 26 in a few months."

Brennan got off to a good start with a 9–1 campaign in 1954 with players recruited by Leahy. In 1955, the Irish slipped a notch to 8–2. Then the roof fell in. Brennan was forced to play mostly sophomores in 1956 because of numerous injuries and the result was a 2–8 record, the first losing season for Notre Dame since 1933 and the worst in the history of the school. The lone bright spot was Paul Hornung, who won the Heisman Trophy. Many fans called for Brennan's ouster, but the young coach was retained.

One thing that worked against Brennan was a movement by school administrators to put more emphasis on academics and less on athletics, leading to the popular notion that Notre Dame had deemphasized football. Consequently, Brennan had to make do with players of lesser talent than in previous years, with a limit of 20 football scholarships per class, while continuing to play tough schedules. While academics had always come first at Notre Dame, Frank Leahy had carte blanche to do what he wished until the Rev. Theodore Martin Hesburgh became president in 1952. One of Hesburgh's first priorities as president was to reaffirm Notre Dame's position on academics.


One of the other major restraints was the fact that within that construct Leahy had recruited a large number of players and offered them all scholarships. These players largely proved ineffective. However, and especially given the new self-imposed scholarship restrictions, this prevented Brennan from recruiting any recruiting classes worthy of the university or himself... Brennan was essentially recruiting and coaching with his hands figuratively tied behind his back. However...

Brennan's 1957 squad earned the nickname, "Comeback Comets" after finishing 7–3. Among their victories was a 23–21 comeback over Army and a 7–0 shutout of Oklahoma, snapping the Sooners' NCAA record 47-game winning streak. While Brennan kept the Irish competitive during his tenure (the dismal 1956 season notwithstanding), his teams' performances were well short of what fans had come to expect even allowing for the reduction in scholarships.

After a 6–4 record in 1958, the movement to dismiss Brennan gained momentum, and the coach was fired along with his entire staff in mid-December; Hugh Devore was eventually retained. Notre Dame's administration was heavily criticized for the firing, since Brennan's overall 32–18 record was not bad considering the caliber of their opponents. He was succeeded as Notre Dame's head coach by Joe Kuharich.

Later life and honors

Brennan served as player conditioning coach for baseball's Cincinnati Reds during spring training in 1959 and eventually joined a Chicago investment banking firm. He has six children, 27 grandchildren, and sixteen great-grandchildren.

Brennan is a member of the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame and was elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1981.

Head coaching record

College

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (NCAA University Division independent) (1954–1958)
1954 Notre Dame 9–1 4 4
1955 Notre Dame 8–2 10 9
1956 Notre Dame 2–8
1957 Notre Dame 7–3 9 10
1958 Notre Dame 6–4 14 17
Notre Dame: 32–18
Total: 32–18
1954 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

The 1954 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame during the 1954 college football season.

1955 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

The 1955 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame during the 1955 college football season.

1958 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team

The 1958 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame during the 1958 NCAA University Division football season.

1963 Gator Bowl

The 1963 Gator Bowl was a college football postseason bowl game that featured the Air Force Falcons and the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Bill Fischer (American football)

William Anton "Moose" Fischer (March 10, 1927 – January 20, 2017) was an American football lineman who played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) for the Chicago Cardinals, from 1949 to 1953. He was a first-round pick by the Chicago Cardinals in the 1949 NFL Draft. With the Cardinals, he was invited to three Pro Bowls. He played college football at the University of Notre Dame, where he won two national championships, was twice named a consensus All-American in 1947 and 1948, and was awarded the Outland Trophy as the nation's top lineman in 1948.

Fischer returned to Notre Dame after his playing career, serving as an assistant coach under Terry Brennan, from 1954 to 1958. He also served as president of the Notre Dame Monogram Club in 1982. In 1983, he was inducted into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame. Fischer died on January 20, 2017, in Cape Coral, Florida.

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List of Notre Dame Fighting Irish football seasons

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Notre Dame has the most consensus national championships and has produced more All-Americans than any other Football Bowl Subdivision school. Additionally, seven Fighting Irish football players have won the Heisman Trophy.

Notre Dame is one of only two Catholic universities that field a team in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the other being Boston College, and one of a handful of programs independent of a football conference. The team plays its home games on Notre Dame's campus at Notre Dame Stadium, also known as the "House that Rockne Built," which has a capacity of 80,795.

Notre Dame claims national championships in an additional three seasons, for a total of 11 consensus national championships. Notre Dame, however, is often credited with 13 national championships in total. The 1938 and 1953 seasons are the reason for the discrepancy. In 1938, 8-1 Notre Dame was awarded the national championship by the Dickinson System, while Texas Christian (which finished 11-0) was awarded the championship by the Associated Press. In the 1953 season, an undefeated Notre Dame team (9-0-1) was named national champion by every major selector except the AP and UPI (Coaches) polls, where the Irish finished second in both to 10-1 Maryland. As Notre Dame has a policy of only recognizing AP and Coaches Poll national championships post-1936, the school does not officially recognize the 1938 and 1953 national championships.

List of Notre Dame Fighting Irish head football coaches

This is a list of Notre Dame Fighting Irish football head coaches. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team is the football team of the University of Notre Dame, located in South Bend, Indiana, United States. The team competes as an Independent at the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision level. Notre Dame has produced more All-Americans than any other Football Bowl Subdivision school. Additionally, seven Fighting Irish football players have won the Heisman Trophy. Notre Dame is one of only two Catholic universities that field a team in the Football Bowl Subdivision, the other being Boston College, and one of a handful of programs independent of a football conference. The team plays its home games on Notre Dame's campus at Notre Dame Stadium, also known as the "House that Rockne Built", which has a capacity of 80,795. The head coach is Brian Kelly.

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Pat Bisceglia

Pasquale "Pat" Bisceglia (June 23, 1930 - February 7, 2009) was an American football player. He was a first-team All-American guard at Notre Dame in 1955.

Bisceglia grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts, before enrolling at the University of Notre Dame. He played college football at the guard and linebacker positions for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team from 1953 to 1955 under head coaches Frank Leahy and Terry Brennan. Bisceglia was selected by the Associated Press as a first-team guard on its 1955 College Football All-America Team.After graduating from Notre Dame in 1956, Bisceglia played two seasons of professional football for the Montreal Alouettes. He later worked for approximately 35 years for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management, Division Forests and Parks. He retired in 1992 and died in 2009 in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.

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Pat O'Neill (born 14 November 1958) is an Irish Fine Gael politician and former Senator.

He was elected for a term to Seanad Éireann on the Agricultural Panel in April 2011. He was a member of Kilkenny County Council from 2004 to 2011 representing the Thomastown local electoral area. He was the Fine Gael Seanad spokesperson on Transport.

Robert Williams (quarterback)

Dr. Robert "Bob" Williams is a former American football player for the University of Notre Dame.

Williams won three championships with G.A.R. Memorial High School in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. From his years playing for Terry Brennan at Notre Dame, Williams is best remembered for ending the record 47-game winning streak of the Oklahoma Sooners with a 7-0 victory on November 16, 1957.

Williams was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1959 (coincidentally, he was the second Notre Dame QB with the name "Bob Williams" to be selected by the Bears during the same decade), but instead he chose to enroll at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 2002. His son Brian Williams played center for the New York Giants from 1989 to 1999. His grandson, Maxx Williams, is currently a tight end for the Baltimore Ravens.

Terry Brennan (politician)

Terry Brennan (born 24 May 1942) is an Irish Fine Gael politician. who was formerly a Senator.

He was elected to Seanad Éireann on the Labour Panel in April 2011. He was a member of Louth County Council from 1985 to 2011 representing the Dundalk-Carlingford electoral area. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Louth constituency at the 1997 and 2002 general elections. He was the Fine Gael Seanad spokesperson on Tourism and Sport between 2011 and 2016. He lost his seat in April 2016.

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