Remembering Notre Dame photographer Mike Bennett

NOW: Remembering Notre Dame photographer Mike Bennett


The University of Notre Dame announced Tuesday longtime athletics photographer Mike Bennett passed away on August 5 after a short battle with cancer. He was 69-years-old.

“Mike Bennett made everything and everyone he touched better — the natural consequence of his uncompromising professionalism and unfailingly positive personality,” Vice President and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick said. “Mike’s smile and his willingness to help both were ever-present. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him, but his memory, his impact and the images he captured will remain part of the fabric of Notre Dame Athletics for years to come.”

Bennett grew up in South Bend and knew he wanted to photograph the Fighting Irish and reached that goal by shooting his first Notre Dame football game in 1982.

He spoke with ABC57 about his career and his love for Notre Dame in 2016. You can watch the video at the top of the page.

“Mike’s impact on people went beyond Notre Dame and our football program. He was always willing to lend a hand to the Kelly Cares Foundation and so many other organizations over the years, asking for nothing in return. He was always there to tell a story, which he did through pictures. Paqui and I will miss him greatly, as will the Notre Dame family.”

— Brian Kelly, Dick Corbett Head Football Coach

“I can’t think of a celebration that we have had at Notre Dame in which Mike Bennett wasn’t a part of. He was there for every big moment, from the start of our season with the team photo, all the way to the Final Four. He was always so much more than a photographer to us — he was a part of our women’s basketball family. Whenever I think of him it brings a smile to my face. He will always be a part of us and we will treasure his memory every time we see one of his iconic photos.”

— Muffet McGraw, Karen and Kevin Keyes Family Head Women’s Basketball Coach

“Mike was a total pro who always had a smile for you. I cannot think of a signature moment since I have been at Notre Dame that Mike was not on the sidelines or in our locker room to record the memory. After games or at athletic department events, there can be a number of different photographers taking photos, but I always knew to look for Mike and his lens. He was such a class act.”

— Mike Brey, Glenn and Stacey Murphy Head Men’s Basketball Coach

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