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Past President Profile – Elmer Layden

Nov 18, 2015, 5:07 PM EDT

(Left to right) Head coach Elmer Layden, Herman Burnell, Mario Tonelli, Nevin (Bunny) McCormick and Chuck O’Reilly in 1937. Burnell, Tonelli, McCormick and O’Reilly were called the Pony Express backfield.

This Monogram Club Past President Profile features Elmer Layden (’25, football/track & field), the Club’s seventh president. Layden served as Monogram Club president in 1924.

In honor of the Monogram Club’s 100th anniversary we will take a look at each of the Club’s former presidents with our Past President Profile.

Elmer Layden (’25, football/track & field)
– Layden came to Notre Dame from Davenport, Iowa.
– He played three seasons (1922-24) for Knute Rockne. Notre Dame went 27-2-1 during that span.
– Layden is best remembered as an All-American fullback and one of the Four Horsemen during his playing days at Notre Dame. He was known as the fastest of the quartet and became a defensive star with his timely interceptions. He also handled punt duties for the squad.
– He earned first-team All-America honors as a senior in 1924 after helping Notre Dame to a perfect 10-0 record and the program’s first national championship.
– Layden also competed three seasons (1923-25) for the Notre Dame track & field team.
– He served as Monogram Club president in 1924.
– Following graduation, he played one year of professional football.
– He became head football coach at Columbia College in Dubuque, Iowa, finishing 8-5-2 in two seasons (1925-26). He held the same post at Duquesne in Pittsburgh from 1927-1933 and put together a 48-16-6 mark.
– Layden coached at Notre Dame for seven seasons (1934-40) and compiled a 47-13-3 record after taking over as both coach and athletic director in 1933 following the resignations of coach Hunk Anderson and athletic director Jesse Harper, the Monogram Club’s co-founder.
– In 1940 Layden resigned his Notre Dame post and a year later became commissioner of the National Football League. He resigned from that position in 1946 to start a business career in Chicago.
– He passed away in 1973 at the age of 70.

Four Horsemen article

Four Horsemen-2

The Four Horsemen

Elmer Layden bio

Northwestern recap

Layden article

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(Left to right) Jack McCarthy, Mario Tonelli, Andy Puplis, Nevin (Bunny) McCormick and head coach Elmer Layden in 1937

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Elmer Layden (left) and Jim McGoldrick in 1938.

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Elmer Layden (left), Johnny Kelly, and Clashmore Mike, Notre Dame’s mascot, in 1939.

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Elmer Layden (left) with assistant coach Joe Boland, who later served as Monogram Club president in 1947.

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(Left to right) Elmer Layden, Johnny Kelly and Steve Sitko in 1939.

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Elmer Layden (left) with Ben Sheridan in 1939.

Layden obit



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