A Coach Second to None

He may not have been its top pick, but Tyrone Willingham has Notre Dame winning again

Unlike any number of top jock schools, Notre Dame has always had a university its football team could be proud of. Yet football has forever defined the university. Without those pigskin Saturdays in South Bend, Ind., Notre Dame might be just another very nice Catholic school, a rural Villanova.

Which is why Notre Dame's "return to glory," as it is known on campus, is much more than a rebound in its football fortunes. The Fighting Irish are experiencing their best campaign since 1993--a turnaround engineered by a first-year coach who was Notre Dame's second choice for the job. Lapsed fans...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!