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Terry Brennan (1928–2021), former Notre Dame head football coach

by Linnea Crowther

Terry Brennan was a football player for Notre Dame in the 1940s who became the coach of the Fighting Irish in the 1950s.

Notre Dame

Brennan was a star halfback for the Fighting Irish from 1945 to 1948. Though he was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles, Brennan chose not to play professionally, instead seeking his law degree while coaching at Mount Carmel High School in Chicago. When he returned to Notre Dame in 1953 as freshman football coach and was promoted to head coach the following year, Brennan was called a wunderkind, just 25 years old. With strong records in his first two seasons and a relatively dismal third season, Brennan’s team was nicknamed the “Comeback Comets” when they finished 7-3 in his fourth season. He only had one more season at Notre Dame before being dismissed in 1958. In later years, Brennan worked for a Chicago investment banking firm.

Tributes to Terry Brennan

Full obituary: The Washington Post

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