Blue and Gold Illustrated

August 2023

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 46 of 55

BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM AUGUST 2023 47 High-profile departures also hogged the headlines this last school year. The first came in February when Fighting Irish football offensive coordinator Tommy Rees left his post after three seasons to take the same job at Alabama. Then, in March, veteran Notre Dame men's basketball head coach Mike Brey — the winningest skipper in program his- tory — stepping down in March after a difficult 11-21 season after first announc- ing his intended departure in January. In June, Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick announced that he will move on early in 2024 after 16 years on the job. The storylines were many in 2022-23. And following are the highlights of Notre Dame's sports year. FENCING MATTERS Calling a third straight national championship and 13th overall "a big- time relief," fencing assistant coach Christian Rascioni could finally breathe last March when his team completed its mission. The Irish claimed two indi- vidual titles and led wire to wire during the four-day NCAA Championships at Cameron Indoor Arena in Durham, N.C. In women's epee, freshman Eszter Muhari rolled through the round-robin competition and dominated her semifi- nal and championship duels on the way to her first individual title. On the men's side, junior sabre specialist Luke Linder also claimed an individual champion- ship — the second title of his Fighting Irish career. Muhari and Linder both earned first- team All-America honors with their in- dividual championships. Additionally for Notre Dame, senior Marcello Olivares and freshman Chase Emmer both earned second-team All- America honors in men's foil. On the women's side, graduate Kara Linder in sabre, senior Amita Berthier in foil and junior Kaylin Hsieh in epee all also earned second-team All-America honors. NEW HEIGHTS For the first time in program history, Notre Dame men's lacrosse claimed a national championship with a 13-9 win over Duke May 29 at Lincoln Fi- nancial Field in Philadelphia. The title was a first for men's head lacrosse coach Kevin Corrigan, who has worked the Irish sideline for 35 years. Senior goalie Liam Entenmann, a first- team All-American, was named the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Cham- pionships when he capped a strong tour- nament performance with a season-high 18 saves in the title game. The Irish de- fense as a whole held Duke to its lowest scoring output of the season. Meanwhile on offense, the storyline was great balance, with six different Irish players recording 2 goals. Notre Dame's offensive attack set program re- cords this season for goals (248), goals per game (15.5) and total points (381). The Fighting Irish finished their fine season 14-2 with their only two losses coming to Virginia in the regular season, a blemish that the Irish vindicated by beating the Cavaliers 13-12 in overtime in the national semifinals. SAM THE MAN In what many consider the transfer portal coup of the 2023 football offsea- son, Notre Dame landed graduate stu- dent quarterback Sam Hartman out of Wake Forest, one of the most produc- tive passers in Atlantic Coast Confer- ence history. Hartman, 23, announced in January that he was transferring to Notre Dame to play his sixth and final season of college football. In 2022, Hartman became the ACC's all-time leader in career touchdown passes (110) in a season that he threw for 3,701 yards with 38 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, while completing 63 percent of his passes and averaging 8.6 yards per attempt. During his five seasons at Wake Forest — four as a starter — Hartman threw for 12,967 yards, completed 59.1 percent of his passes and added 17 rushing touchdowns. Hartman is the second graduate transfer quarterback addition for Notre Dame in the last three seasons. Previ- ously, the Irish brought in Jack Coan as a transfer from Wisconsin in January 2021. Coan started all 13 games that 2021 season and threw for 3,150 yards with 25 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. PASSING THE TORCH ND Nation was stunned in early June when veteran Irish director of athlet- ics Jack Swarbrick announced he would step down from his post "sometime in the first quarter" of 2024. Swarbick, 69, will leave the position after 16 successful years on the job that included some key hires, multiple na- tional championships for his Olympic sports programs, a national champion- ship game appearance for the football program in 2012 and football College Football Playoff (CFP) appearances in 2018 and 2020 under head coach Brian Kelly, whom Swarbrick hired in 2009. Swarbrick will be replaced by Notre Dame alumnus Pete Bevacqua, giving the athletic department a new leader for the first time since 2008. Bevacqua comes to Notre Dame after serving as the NBC Sports Group chairman. During his time at Notre Dame, Swarbrick became part of the College Football Playoff management commit- tee, along with the commissioners from 10 FBS conferences. There he played a key role in the upcoming expansion of the CFP, which will grow from four to 12 teams in 2024. OUT THE DOOR After spending four years playing quarterback at Notre Dame, six more as its quarterbacks coach and the last three as the Fighting Irish offensive coordina- tor, Tommy Rees unexpectedly left his familiar surroundings to take the open offensive coordinator position at Ala- bama Feb. 3. Rees reportedly signed a three-year deal with the Crimson Tide worth $1.9 million this year, $2 million in 2024 and $2.1 million in 2025. Senior goaltender Liam Entenmann recorded a season-high 18 saves in Notre Dame's NCAA championship-clinching 13-9 win over Duke en route to Most Outstanding Player honors. PHOTO BY RACEL PINCUS/NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - August 2023