As the Notre Dame football team opened its fourth Camp Culver Tuesday morning, most things have settled into a routine. But two big changes have taken place – one physical and the other mental – that will set this camp apart from the first three.
Physically, the Irish will be enjoying air-conditioned rooms as they move from the North and East Barracks over to Argonne Dorm. With the construction and opening of the Hegeler Wing, Argonne became the first living quarters to be air-conditioned. This is a big change from when coach Lou Holtz brought his 1995 team down to Culver and players slept in the hockey rink as temperatures climbed into the 90s.
Mentally, the Irish are focusing on process over production during the preseason. Attention to detail, eliminating mistakes, and staying smart were the highlights coach Brian Kelly (shown talking to the press) took away from the first Irish practice. Wednesday morning, the Irish received news that legendary coach Ara Parseghian passed away at age 94. Parseghian came to Notre Dame in 1964, winning national championships in 1966 and 1973. He retired in 1974.
The Notre Dame-Culver connection goes all the way back to 1917 when Notre Dame’s Knute Rockne and Culver’s Bob Peck played for the Massilion Tigers. Rockne’s connections included conducting his coaching clinics at Culver, giving the dedication speech for the Culver Recreation Building in 1924, and giving Peck’s team a pep talk prior to Culver’s game against St. John’s Military Academy, which was played at Soldier Field on Nov. 8, 1930. Rockne (ND) and Peck (Pitt) are in the College Football Hall of Fame.
The team will be staying through Aug. 8. The first day for full pads will be Saturday. To follow Notre Dame while the Irish are on campus, go to UND.com.