Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct 9, 2021

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

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Page 52 of 55 OCT. 9, 2021 53 He would also more than even the score with Jones, defeating him four times after Jones took over the Southern Cal job in 1925. Rockne's 105 wins included a 20-0 re- cord against three other Western Confer- ence foes — 8-0 versus Indiana, and 6-0 against both Purdue and Northwestern. LEAHY'S MARK GOT A 20-2 START AT BOSTON COLLEGE Leahy came to Notre Dame as head coach in 1941 after two very successful years at Boston College. His 1939 Eagles were 9-2, losing only to Florida, 7-0, in the regular season, and to Clemson, 6-3, in the 1940 Cotton Bowl. In 1940, Leahy's Boston College squad finished 11-0 and No. 5 in the final AP rank- ings. While the schedule included a three- game home stretch versus Idaho (60-0), St. Anselm (55-0) and Manhattan (25-0), the Eagles also trounced Auburn, 33-7, then defeated No. 4 Tennessee, 19-13, before 73,181 in the 1941 Sugar Bowl, in a game proclaimed the best of that college season. Leahy replaced Four Horseman Elmer Layden as Notre Dame head coach in 1941. Over his 11 seasons (he didn't guide the Irish in 1944-45), Leahy's teams posted an overall record of 87-11-9. The 11 losses came versus nine opponents, against whom Leahy was 34-11-2 in total, a .745 mark. He was 1-1 against Michigan, 0-1-1 versus Great Lakes Naval Station and 2-3 versus Michigan State. Leahy's top win totals came against Navy (11-0), Southern Cal (8-1-1), Pitts- burgh (7-1), Purdue (7-1) and North- western (6-0). For his entire career, Leahy faced 44 different opponents and had a losing record against just four: Florida (0-1), Clemson (0-1), Great Lakes (0-1-1) and Michigan State (2-3). Leahy guided the Irish to four na- tional championships, in 1943, 1946, 1947 and 1949. His bid for a fifth, in his final season of coaching in 1953, fell just short as the Irish, led by Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Lattner, finished No. 2 with a 9-0-1 record. (Maryland was crowned as champion by AP and UPI, but after the final polls the Terps went on to lose 7-0 to No. 4 Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.) The only blemish for Leahy that year? A 14-14 tie on Nov. 21 against that old Rockne nemesis — Iowa. ✦ The Knute Rockne Memorial Society wishes to congratulate the following Rockne Award winners: The family of Charlie Bachman 1917 The family of Norman Barry 1921 The family of Moose Krause '34 The family of Johnny La ner '54 Terence Smith '60 Mike Collins '67 Joel Maturi '67 Mike McCoy '70 Jay Standring '70 Peter Schivarelli '71 Bob Thomas '74 Aaron Taylor '94 Danielle Green '99 Darius Fleming '12 Molly Seidel '16 Barry Sullivan Barry Alvarez Jim Lefebvre is an award-winning Notre Dame author and leads the Knute Rockne Memorial Society. He can be reached at: Frank Leahy built an .864 winning percentage through two seasons with Boston College and 11 with Notre Dame, where he led the Irish to four national championships. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS

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