By David Stout
GRANGER, Ind. (New York Times) — Ara Parseghian, a Presbyterian of Armenian descent who might have seemed an unlikely savior of Notre Dame football but became just that, coaching the Fighting Irish out of the wilderness and back to greatness in the 1960s and ’70s, died early Wednesday, August 2, at his home in Granger. He was 94.
The Rev. John Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame, announced the death in a statement.
Parseghian, whose home was not far from the university’s campus in South Bend, Ind., had recently been undergoing treatment at a care facility for a hip infection.
Parseghian ranks with Knute Rockne and Frank Leahy in the pantheon of Notre Dame football coaches. In his 11 seasons (1964 through 1974), his teams won 95 games, lost 17 and tied four, for a .836 winning percentage. His 1966 and 1973 teams were voted national champions.
When Parseghian arrived at Notre Dame, the university’s football program had been in decline for years. The collapse started in 1956, when Notre Dame won only two games and lost eight. Though there were some victories, Notre Dame never won more than five games in a season from 1959 to 1963. Twice it won only two games.