Blue and Gold Illustrated

August 2021

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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6 AUGUST 2021 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED FAN FORUM ALEX THE GREAT You all do a great job at Blue & Gold Illustrated. I personally appreci- ate coverage of all the sports. Being retired — and a lifelong runner — I was pleasantly surprised when I watched the NCAA Cross Country Championships in March — a sec- ond-place finish by the Irish! I got thinking about Coach Alex Wilson, who retired just a year or so before I got to ND in 1975. He was a Notre Dame graduate and NCAA outdoor 440-yard champion. He also won four (!) Olympic medals running for his native Canada — a bronze in the 4x400-meter relay in 1928, plus a bronze in the 4x400-meter relay, a bronze in the 400 meters and a silver in the 800 meters in 1932. The 800-meter race was famous as the winner (Thomas Hampson) set a new world record, and both he and Wilson became the first-ever runners to record times under one minute and 50 seconds. Coach Wilson is on the Mount Rushmore of UND track and field, along with Greg Rice, Rick Wohl- huter and Molly Huddle. Kevin M. Coughlin, M.D. Notre Dame '79 Well said, Kevin. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. There is no doubt that Wilson is a perfect example of an outstanding athlete and legendary coach. While at Notre Dame, he was undefeated in the quarter- and half-mile events, and set a national indoor record of 49.3 for the 440 in 1932. During his 23 years as a coach for the Irish (1950-72), Wilson's teams finished in the national top-10 11 times. He guided three track national champions, 28 track and eight cross country All-Americans, and led the Irish to the cross country na- tional championship in 1957. His teams appeared in the meet a total of 18 times. Wilson was also honored as National Coach of the Year by the NCAA Cross Country Coaches Association in 1972, and an indoor track and field meet is held in his honor each year at Notre Dame. IN MEMORIAM On June 13, 2021, my dad, Richard Cebelak, passed away at 78. Dad was a lifelong Notre Dame fan. Through the decades he had the opportunity to attend countless Notre Dame foot- ball games. If he couldn't attend, he surely was watching the Irish on tele- vision, cheering with the same enthu- siasm as he would in person. In the early 2000s, Richard was fortunate to make friendships with several Notre Dame players of the past through the game-day tailgating scene. These included the likes of Jim Seymour, Angelo DeBerio and Tom Reynolds. In 2008, the Notre Dame Club of Grand Rapids, Mich., presented Dad with its annual Frank Geary Award for his 40 years of teach- ing and dedication to local Catholic education. While Dad's passing has been tough, sharing his story with all of you helps with the healing. I know come this fall, Richie will be look- ing down on the Irish, cheering them onto victory. Thank you. Paul Cebelak Grand Rapids, Mich. Thanks for sharing, Paul. Our condo- lences on your loss. BE HEARD! Send your letters to: Letters Blue & Gold Illustrated P. O. Box 1007, Notre Dame, IN 46556 or e-mail to: Notre Dame standout athlete and coach Alex Wilson (left) was inducted into the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2008. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS

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