Former quarterback says players loved Coach Parseghian
MISHAWAKA, Ind. - Former All American quarterback Tom Creevey says Coach Ara Parseghian's character transformed the Notre Dame football team into National Champs. He shared some college memories with ABC57 after Coach Parseghian's death Wednesday.
"He had that look that it was difficult to approach him, but once you had the intestinal fortitude to make that leap, he was like a father to you," Creevey said.
Indiana Football Hall of Famer Creevey said he did make that leap and became close with Coach Parseghian when he led Notre Dame as quarterback from 1970 to 73.
"The year before we were soundly beaten by Nebraska in the Orange Bowl, and Ara told us in the locker room that we're going to rise from the ashes like a Phoenix, and we kind of went from the outhouse, being beaten by Nebraska 40 to 6 to playing for the National championship one year later and defeating Alabama," Creevey said.
He says the close-knit coaching staff Ara created certainly contributed to their championship season.
"His assistants stayed with him for 10 years. That's unheard of today, so not only was he respected, but he was loved by his assistants, so that's a mark of a great man. There aren't too many people that can hold a staff together for 10 years just because they enjoy working and coaching with Ara," said Creevey.
Creevey says he thinks all his teammates would agree Notre Dame will probably never see the likes of the 'Era of Ara' again.
"Just you know, we loved him. That's a hokey thing for a bunch of guys to say, but we loved the coach," Creevey said.