Sep 3, 2013, 5:25 PM EDT
Last year, Notre Dame opened the season across the pond against Navy, one of its oldest and most historic opponents. This past weekend, the 2013 football season kicked off right here in South Bend versus a first-time foe – the Temple Owls.
Behind a fast start, the Fighting Irish picked up a 28-6 win, which also happened to be the 200th of Brian Kelly’s career. The start of the season also marked the return of the Monogram Club’s popular football weekend activities.
Here’s more on the season opener in the first 2013 edition of the Monogram Club Musings!
Temple Game Notes
- 20 members of the University of Notre Dame football family who passed away during the last year were recognized as part of the pre-game flag presentation. Among them were fullback Asaph Schwapp (’09) and All-America lineman Mirko Jurkovic (’95), whose families presented the national colors.
- Saturday’s first traffic safety pun of the season from 2010 honorary Monogram recipient Sgt. Tim McCarthy: “Remember, any time your driving gets dull, it is time to sharpen up.”
Sightings Around Campus
- Notre Dame football superfan and Monogram Club dad Dick Vitale returned to campus for the weekend. His daughters Terri (’94, ’95) and Sherri (’96, ’98) are tennis Monogram winners, and Terri currently serves on the Monogram Club board as the second vice president. Dick and his family were all over campus, and as usual, the ESPN college basketball analyst was sharing his love for Notre Dame on his Twitter account (@DickieV).
- The 2013 Notre Dame football roster features a number of student-athletes with celebrity parents, and before the game, we spotted Jon Bon Jovi, a longtime favorite of the Notre Dame Band, and NBA legend David Robinson on hand to watch their sons suit up in blue and gold for the first time. Jesse Bongiovi is a walk-on cornerback, and Corey Robinson, though not as tall as his father, is a 6’4″ wide receiver.
- Several recent Notre Dame football alums were down on the field before and during the game as well, including Tyler Eifert (’13) and Theo Riddick (’13), who will begin their NFL careers later this week with the Cincinnati Bengals and Detroit Lions, respectively. Others spotted watching their old teammates included John Goodman (’12), Mike Golic Jr. (’12), Jake Golic (’13), Matt Mulvey (’12) and Chris Stewart (’09), who is currently in law school at Notre Dame.
- Irish great Ricky Watters, now a head coach at Oak Ridge High School in Orlando, joined our very own Reggie Brooks (’93) and 2013 honorary Monogram recipient Jack Nolan on the Official Notre Dame Post-Game Show.
Monogram Club Events
On Friday evening, the Club welcomed dues-paying football Monogram winners and their guests to the Schivarelli Football Players’ Lounge at Notre Dame Stadium for the traditional post-pep rally reception. The Monogram Club was also pleased to open the “Schiv Lounge” to dues-paying young alumni for the home opener. More than 40 young alumni Monogram winners stopped by to grab a drink and a bite to eat, or hit the storied Play Like A Champion Today sign. We caught up with a number of young alums, including several who have since returned to Notre Dame to work in various offices around campus.
- Marta Stepien (’13, fencing), recently began an internship in the Student Welfare & Development office.
- John Whitty (’10, manager) enters his second season as the director of operations for the Irish softball team.
- Kasey O’Connor (’12, softball) joined the athletic department earlier this summer, interning with Molly (Lennon) Anderson (’92, soccer) and adidas.
- Molly Campbell (’12, soccer) just began her second year interning alongside senior deputy director of athletics Missy Conboy (’82, basketball).
- While student-teaching at a nearby school, Brittany O’Donnell (’13, softball) will also serve as a volunteer assistant for her former team during the upcoming season.
- Former walk-on football student-athlete Bernard Akatu (’03) returned to Notre Dame in April as a human resources consultant.
- Though he never had a chance to play in the Compton Family Ice Arena, these days, Kevin Deeth (’10, hockey) spends a lot of time in the beautiful Irish hockey arena, where he works as the venue’s assistant programming and instruction manager.
- Santiago Montoya (’09, tennis), who works in the Investment Office, stopped by with fellow tennis alum Blas Moros (’13).
Among the additions to the Notre Dame Stadium decor this season is a newly installed leprechaun mural outside the Irish locker room. A gift of football Monogram winner Peter Schivarelli (’71), it was designed by artist Mike Sullivan…not to be confused with Monogram Club membership coordinator Mike Sullivan (’09, manager).
On Saturday, nearly 700 Monogram winners and their guests came by the Club’s pre-game reception in the Monogram Room to enjoy lunch and a visit from the Notre Dame cheerleaders and leprechaun. Special thanks to Karen Demeter for picking out the delicious menu, including sliders, mini-brats, mac & cheese and brownies!
Throughout the afternoon, a number of Monogram winners stopped by the Club’s table to say hello, including:
- Baseball Monogram winner Tim Hutson (’88), who works in financial consulting in Battle Creek, Mich.
- Jessica Roman (’92, cheerleader), who is currently in education in Grosse Pointe, Mich.
- Tony Rettino (’86, lacrosse) works in investment management, currently in Winnetka, Ill.
- Chris Fugate (’99, swimming) is at Hallmark and lives outside Kansas City
- Like many other recent graduates, cheerleading Monogram winners Olivia Lee (’13) and Anthony Cossell (’13) have each started their post-Notre Dame careers in Chicago. Lee works for McKinsey & Company, while Cossell is with Ernst & Young.
Of course, the weekend of fellowship would not be complete without a post-game Mass in the Monogram Room. Rev. Mark Thesing C.S.C. (’81, ’85, ’92), the newly appointed football chaplain, presided, while Monogram Club board member Kevin McShane (’90, football) served as lector.
The Irish hit the road this Saturday for a game at Michigan (8 pm ET on ESPN) and travel to Purdue the following weekend, before the excitement returns to campus the weekend of Sept. 20-21, coinciding with the Michigan State game.