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Rockne Coaching Tree

Discussion in 'OTHER SPORTS Forum' started by TIGRIS PANTHERA, Dec 26, 2012.




    3.30 Rockne Coaching Tree (Updated)

    (taken from a composite of internet resources)

    Great coaches, of course, seem to move in packs. Bill Walsh’s coaching family tree is well documented. But Walsh’s legacy is trivial compared to the royal and surprisingly short coaching lineage that connects the greatest coaches in football history to Knute Rockne.
    Knute Rockne is the greatest coach in the 136-year history of college football. He coached 13 years, posted a 105-12-5 record and his .881 winning percentage remains unmatched at the pro or Division 1 college levels. He led the Four Horseman and the Gipper and is the spiritual father of the most successful “franchise” in North American sports, Notre Dame football. Rockne was widely considered the most innovative coach of his day. He invented the Notre Dame “shift,” foresaw the advantages of the two-platoon system long before it became popular and, as a player, is credited with popularizing the forward pass. As a coach, Rockne “attempted to outsmart his coaching peers by downplaying his squads’ talent.”
    Rockne once had a player named Jim Crowley. In case you don’t know, Crowley, a left halfback with the fighting Irish between 1922-’24, was one of the famed “Four Horsemen of Notre Dame.”

    Soon after his playing career ended, Crowley became the head football coach at Fordham in New York. Along the way, he coached a small, scrappy offensive lineman from Brooklyn named Vince Lombardi.

    Lombardi’s offensive line coach at Fordham was none other than Rockne protégé, Frank Leahy, a tackle on two of his national title teams in the 1920s who was in the locker room when Rockne delivered the most famous pep talk in sports history.
    Leahy then helped his team win one for the Gipper. Leahy learned about coaching from Rockne while both were bedridden for two weeks in the Mayo Clinic and shared the same room. Leahy coached an unmatched four Heisman Trophy winners and stands second only to Rockne as the most successful coach in major college or pro football history.

    At Fordham, Leahy forged the most famous offensive line in football history, the “Seven Blocks of Granite,” which included the small, bull-dog tough Lombardi. According to Jack Connor, who played for Leahy at Notre Dame and who wrote the book, “Leahy’s Lads,” Leahy had a profound impact on Lombardi’s football philosophy.
    Lombardi was later hired by a guy named Earl Lambeau, who happened to play at the University of Notre Dame under the same Knute Rockne and went on to found the Green Bay Packers.

    Lombardi’s record in the NFL is well-documented. Among coaches with 100 victories, his .740 winning percentage is the best in history and, suffice it to say, the championship trophy is named for him.​

    By the way, Lombardi suffered his first (and only) postseason loss to Buck Shaw, who also played for Rockne.
    The second most famous coach in college football might be Paul “Bear” Bryant who learned the trade under a man named Frank Thomas. Thomas was Bryant’s football coach and mentor who went 115-24-7 (.812) at ‘bama.

    There was also book written about him, “Coach Tommy and the Crimson Tide.” Thomas is second only to Coach Bryant in Alabama wins and included consecutive wins at Orange,Cotton,Sugar and Rose as well as National Championships in 1930, 1934 and 1941. Coach Thomas is a member of the Football Hall of Fame and played quarterback for Rockne at Notre Dame. He was, according to Coach Rockne, the smartest player he ever coached. His roommate and best friend at Notre Dame was the famous George ” The Gipper” Gip.
    Back to Lombardi. Lombardi’s “pet” player at St. Cecilia’s (like Hornung was later at Green Bay) was a kid named Mickey Corcoran. The name Corcoran might not be well-known in coaching circles. But he became a New Jersey high school coach and, according to Lombardi biographer David Maraniss, passed Lombardi’s lessons and coaching strategies on to his players and “to his own disciple … a North Jersey boy named Bill Parcells.”

    Parcell’s most famous protégé might now be more famous than he is, the Patriots’ Bill Belichick. The two won a pair of Super Bowls with the N.Y. Giants.Belicick went on to guide the Patriots to three super bowl wins in four years.

    Belichick’s coaching tree begins with a man named Nick Saban who won a national championship at LSU. His tree continues with Cleveland Brown head football coach Romeo Crennel and current Irish head coach Charlie Weis, who brings the Rockne legacy back full circle to its birthplace.

    Notre Dame Football, Charlie Weis, Sugar Bowl
  2. mctiger

    mctiger Kenny HIlliard, Beast Staff Member

    Interesting stuff. And although it has nothing to do with the BCSCG, the Parcells branch of this coaching tree also gives us Sean Payton.
  3. LaSalleAve

    LaSalleAve when in doubt, mumble

    And Nick Saban, in a way, who is a Belichick guy.


    Vince Lombardi was the best I've seen work. (so far)
  5. Herb

    Herb Veteran Member

    You do realize that Weiss is no longer ND's coach?


    Charles Joseph "Charlie" Weis
    Coaching career
    After graduating from

    Notre Dame in 1978, Weis began his coaching career at Boonton High School in New Jersey. He spent the next five seasons at Morristown High School in New Jersey as a football assistant. In 1985, he was hired by head coach Joe Morrison at the University of South Carolina, where he received his masters degree in education while working as a graduate assistant position coach and assistant recruiting coordinator He served four seasons on the Gamecock staff until Morrison passed away in 1989. He then returned to New Jersey as the head coach at Franklin High School and directed Franklin Township to the New Jersey state championship while also assisting in the New York Giants'
    pro personnel department.
  7. Herb

    Herb Veteran Member

    My point is that the article you posted is a bit old. Weiss is no longer coach at Notre Dame:



    I read the article which I found on http://www.ndnation.com last week because it (the article) eludes to the coaching background of a legendary SEC head coach namely Paul "Bear" Bryant. Coach Bryant's head coach when he played college football was a student of & assistent to Coach Knute Rockne of Notre Dame. ("Rockne" is a Norwegian family name)

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