Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 9, 2013 Issue

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

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Page 29 of 104

Adversity Strikes Assistant coach Tony Alford grieves the loss of his brother I By Andrew Owens n the days since Tony Alford's brother, Aaron, died of a heart attack at age 39, the Irish running backs and slot receivers coach has subscribed to a meaningful piece of advice to help him endure the tragedy. "Adversity introduces a man to himself," Alford said a speaker once told the Irish squad. Alford has since carried that message with him daily. After Aaron's death, Alford was excused from Notre Dame for a little less than a week to be with family and grieve the loss. He also gave a eulogy at Aaron's memorial service. "That was my best friend in life," Alford said. "He was a great man and has a great legacy in Park City, Utah, and really everywhere. He's going to be missed." Aaron served as an assistant coach on the staff of the University of Utah football program from 2007-10. He would have been an assistant coach with the Park City High School football team this season and was recently hired as the school's athletics director. Alford returned to work at Notre Dame Aug. 18. He said it's not a matter of compartmentalizing the loss, but rather his upbringing that brought him back to the practice field quickly. Alford has received an outpouring of support from Irish players and the Notre Dame community, which has helped him during a difficult time. photo by joe raymond

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