Sorry, Sherm, completely wrong on Brennan
by celebrate2008 (2014-11-20 07:12:38)

In reply to: Brennan is the one ND coach let go after 5 years  posted by ShermanOaksND

You're a marvelous font of info and informed opinion on RH, but you've gone unnecessarily gaga on our first high school coach.

My bona fides for saying this: I matriculated as a freshman the same year Brennan matriculated as a college coach. We freshmen succeeded in graduating in 4 years and moved on; Brennan failed in 5 years and was properly booted.

What little success Brennan had came in his first two years: he had a huge carryover of Frank Leahy's lads, and they carried him to a strong two seasons, despite his inexperience. So a large % of his victories are really attributable to Leahy, not Brennan.

After that it was all downhill for Brennan. He did benefit from having Paul Hornung win the Heisman in his senior year, but the team's record that year was 2-7 (miraculous coincidence that Paul could win the trophy on a team so badly coached).

The students strongly wished him gone long before he was dismissed. As a matter of fact, he coming in as a high school coach (Chicago Catholic League) was the perfect antecedent of Gerry Faust, and Brennan at the end of his tenure received about as much respect as Faust did at the end of his. The FB restrictions enacted while Brennan was there had little or nothing to do with his failure; like Faust, he just wasn't ready for the big time right out of HS coaching.

The only real fun we had with Brennan around was when he had Hornung. Paul was quite a party animal. There were severe student rules in those days, including not being able to leave dorms after curfew each evening. Paul's evening usually began about at curfew, and he would take the screen off his dorm window and head to places like Cal City (sin city of the time). The Prefect of Discipline at ND (now there's an outmoded role) at the time was Father McCarragher. His chosen mission was to catch Paul sneaking out at night. He roamed the campus with flashlight in hand, searching for the wandering Hornung so he could ground him. McCarragher's handle on campus thus was "The Sneakin' Deacon with a Beacon." (Usually never quite caught up with Paul).