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Former Notre Dame Football Coach Ara Parseghian Dies at 94

Parseghian led the Fighting Irish to two national championships in the 1960s and 1970s.

GRANGER, Ind. -- One of the most celebrated football coaches in the history of the University of Notre Dame has died.

Ara Parseghian, 94, died early Wednesday morning at his home in Granger in St. Joseph County. WSBT-TV in South Bend reports Parseghian had just been released from a nursing facility where he was receiving treatment for an infection in his surgically-repaired hip.

University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C, released the following statement: 

"Notre Dame mourns the loss of a legendary football coach, a beloved member of the Notre Dame family and good man – Ara Parseghian. Among his many accomplishments, we will remember him above all as a teacher, leader and mentor who brought out the very best in his players, on and off the field."

Parseghian's Winning Ways

Parseghian coached the Fighting Irish for 11 seasons, winning the national championship in 1966 and 1973. His record of 95-17-4 (.836) is third-best in school history, behind Lou Holtz and Knute Rockne.

“Ara Parseghian … combined the best qualities of all the great Notre Dame football coaches. He was great at adapting his strategy to the talents of his athletes, he was a master strategist in preparing for games and an excellent recruiter, and he represented the best of Notre Dame." -- Former university president, Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C, in his autobiography

Parseghian left Notre Dame at the end of the 1974 season. He was elected to the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame in 1980. After his coaching career, he worked as a commentator for ABC and CBS.

The Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation

In 1994, Parseghian and his family started, Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation to fund the study of Niemann-Pick Type C Disease (NPC) in hopes of moving toward a cure. NPC causes the buildup of cholesterol in cells in children, leading to damage to the nervous system and death. 

The foundation has raised more than $45 million to combat the disease, which claimed three of Parseghian's grandchildren, Michael and Cindy's children, Michael, Marcia and Christa.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Fund.

(Photo from the Focus On Sport Collection/Getty Images)

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