Golic name nearly synonymous with Notre Dame
The Golic name has become synonymous with Notre Dame. Bob Golic started the tradition by winning a National Championship for the Irish in 1977. Middle brother Greg followed and then the baby of the family Mike was next.
Mike was an All-American defensive end and captain for the Irish.
He played 8 seasons in the NFL and has become one of the most well-known and respected personalities at ESPN.
The Golic family tradition didn't stop at Mike, it only grew.
It all started the first day of his freshman year.
"The absolute first day of school I met the St. Mary's girl, the Notre Dame guy and when they talk about that all the time, you met your wife. It was. It was that moment," Mike said.
"My roommate was actually a girl I had gone to high school with I said to her, 'This is the guy I'm going to marry,'" Christine Golic said.
Their romance blossomed slowly as a friendship that continued to grow deeper over time.
"She was kind of like me. Kind of fun loving, just you know, wasn't afraid to mess around and goof around, be self-deprecating. And when you're a freshman and trying to impress and trying to show your best, she just wasn't afraid to have fun with herself. And she's always been that way. And I certainly have. I've been self-deprecating my entire life. We just got along, so as we're going through four years here if one of us was feeling down about something else, that's who you could go talk to about it," Mike said.
After graduation, mike was drafted by the Houston Oilers and Chris moved back home to Chicago.
After 3 years of a long distance relationship mike had a question for Chris.
"The proposal. Ok. He is terrible at keeping a secret. So, he goes and gets the ring and he's in Cleveland, it's the off season and I'm in Chicago and he calls me and says 'I got the ring, do you want to know what it looks like?' I'm like, 'Ok.' So, he's telling me about it. Luckily there's no phones with like cameras because he probably would have sent me a picture right away. So, a short time after that he came to Chicago and we were going to a concert and I picked him up at the airport at O'Hare and I knew he had the ring. We knew what was going to happen, so the spontaneity was gone, there was like nothing. We were in the parking lot of the concert and he gave me the ring and we laugh about it now, he's like 'I really let you down, I didn't do enough.' Because now it's like a big production for people to get engaged but you know what that's just kind of how we were," Christine said.
On May 30, 1987 Mike and Christine tied the knot in true Golic fashion.
"After the wedding, we all changed, the guys, into board pants/shorts and we had water guns and we had a water gun fight at the reception which certainly fit. But it was a lot of fun because the bridesmaids, Chris, me and all the guys were all lying on the ground having a water gun fight. That's what it turned into and that's kind of what it's been like for 30 years," Mike said.
While it was the perfect day, there is one regret.
"We had it in Chicago and to this day, Chris is mad at herself because she didn't have it here," Mike said.
Mike was one of three siblings to go to Notre Dame and in 1989 his own Irish trio began with the birth of Mike, Junior. Eighteen months later Jake followed and then a baby girl Sydney.
For these three, South Bend was a second home.
"I came for at least two games a year from the time I was in 2nd or 3rd grade on and had that familiarity. I'm very fortunate to know that it's always something that's going to mean a little bit more," Mike Junior said.
When it came time for the Golic children to make their college decision, it was no surprise where they would end up.
Mike Junior and Jake both played football for the Irish, while Sydney swam at Notre Dame.
In 2017 Christine got her Notre Dame wedding when Jake married Jenny a former track runner for the Irish.
As the family grows, Chris and Mike are ready to continue the Golic tradition in South Bend- buying a house right on Notre Dame Avenue
"This was very deliberate on my part, we were, you know our kids are starting to spread out a little bit. Sydney is in Chicago, Jake and Jenny are in Boston and Mike's close to home, but we said the common denominator is that we all love to come here. I said let's get a place where everybody will kind of find their way back to and so far it's worked," Christine said.
"Now we come back for a Blue-Gold weekend and here comes 5 or 6 of the players with their wives and with their kids coming to the house to say hi. The relationships just last. You know, that's the important thing. That's why we wanted a place here where everybody can get together So that's really, really a neat thing," Mike said.
What about Notre Dame makes it so special?
"I think family and tradition are the two words I associate with Notre Dame," Mike said.