a good college coach. They were the same in that they both love ND.
I have a cousin, no fan of ND football to put it mildly, who met Faust accidentally via a religious organization. I think Faust had missed a flight or something. Anyway, they had breakfast together and my cousin had nothing but good things to say about Faust. If you knew my cousin, the only conclusion possible from that assessment is that Faust must be a heck of a good man.
At the time, it seemed like a rather meaningless distinction. Everyone knew Faust's contract was up and that ND wasn't going to renew it. But Faust could've forced ND to publicly fire him. He didn't. His exit (save for that humiliating last game in Miami) was extremely graceful. He didn't burn any bridges. From that point on, he's had nothing but good things to say about ND, and has made his love for ND very clear.
Faust is a unique case. I continue to think he was an even worse coach than those who have followed (I was born months after Kucharich resigned), and as discussed below, I think he's a man of many faults. Let's just say that, much like Jimmy Carter and the presidency, Faust is a much better ex-coach than he ever was a coach.
[smirks as he stirs the pot]
on how "good" Carter's ex-presidency has been, and those differences are by no means limited to those on MNG's side of the political aisle.
But most would agree that Carter was worse as president than as ex-president. And most would reach a similar conclusion on Faust as coach/ex-coach.
Because he's no longer the coach.
outing and he told this story about Faust. Moose was opposed to his hiring; essentially because Faust was an unproven high school coach. To hear Moose tell it, the "good Fathers; mainly Father Joyce, wanted Faust".
Moose then told us that when all the "love letters" started coming in from all the disgruntled fans, alums, etc., Moose would bundle them all up periodically, and take them over to Father Joyce's office, telling the good Father "his mail was here" . . . .
I wasn't around then so it still seems like historical fiction.
To answer the question of the OP, maybe the Notre Dame community felt a little guilty about dropping an unqualified man in an impossible situation. While 'we' didn't feel it at the time, it must have been there in the back of the mind.
OTOH BoobyWeisingham all had experience and knew what they were up against. They failed due to their own shortcomings. (Here we can say that Weis is the most forgivable because a lot of his failure came from trying to treat college football as though it were AAA NFL).
None of this saves the coach from the pitchforks in his last year but should make a difference after the ashes have settled.
I still remember the Chicago Tribune sports headline shortly after Faust was hired (because it was framed on the wall in the athletic department while I worked there during the Faust years): "Will Notre Dame Ever Lose Again?"
I remember all that hoopla about Faust. Unfortunately, I also remember a lot of hoopla, too, about Joe K., and how lucky ND was to be hiring a "pro coach," where "pro coach" seemed to suggest some sort of access to insights unavailable to Leahy, Wilkinson, et al.
Lord Almighty! how boringly bad ND's teams were under Kuharich. I think it affected my DNA somehow, so that I tensed all over when Weis was hired to an even greater hoopla because the "NFL" had replaced the mere "pro" as a term of awe.* However, like a sap (Steeeeerike TWO!), I unfortunately came around to share the Charlie Fever. The NFL can keep its damned coaches--no Strike 3 for me.
The Faust syndrome was an interesting example of the madness of crowds or Kierkegaard's "The crowd is the untruth". I can't recall anyone issuing a warning about the riskiness of hiring a high school coach. We all read about Faust's astounding successes in HS and figured this meant curtains for ND's opponents.
Between the two, though, give me Faust, on the principle that the Amateur was better than the Plodder. He also seemed, on tv, much more likeable than stone-faced Kuharich.
*When I was a kid, in the 1950s, "NFL" had not yet attained its sanctification status (broadcasters like to say it out: "National Football League"). In my part of the world, we just said "the pros." This was probably before that merger of the leagues back in the mid-60s.
succeed him at ND would he?
in the spring of 1981, with this headline: "New Worry: Will Irish Become TOO Good?"
Holy shit, a lot of people were duped.
He was in over his head and readily admits it - is genuinely sorry that he couldn't do the job
....when it was obvious to all that he couldn't make it.
Only good out of that, which was huge, was it gave Holtz time to escape his MN contract.
Who realized things wren't going well and after 4 years, resigned for the good of his Alma Mater.
resigning in March wasn't exactly for the "good" of the alma mater. And I seem to recall the NFL being involved.....
resigning that it was unreasonable to expect ND to be a dominant football power again because of the changing nature of college football. Enter Ara Parseghian
I was a young kid and my Dad took me to see that team play in Yankee Stadium. Brutal and Boring. Of course, the fact that several guys were out of position and got switched to their correct positions the next year didn't help. Hughie gets credit for taking one for the Dome but it'd be tough to find somebody who was more in over his head - unless it's the Holy Roller from Moeller.
I'm almost the same age now as Devore was in 1963, and I still have my own teeth.
than he should. Too many people buy into the public b.s. Leave it at that.....
about Faust's kindnesses to strangers, etc., to not question their validity in the broadest sense.
But I also heard -- and still hear, from time to time -- too many stories of Faust not only being incompetent, which is no sin, but of lambasting players and assistants alike. He was notorious for blaming everybody but himself, and was very petty in his treatment of people around him, including long-time assistants who were allegedly close friends.
So I've reached this conclusion: He was so overwhelmed by the demands of the position, both on and off the field, that many of his good characteristics were buried while he was Notre Dame's head coach, because there were far too many occasions when he did not act like a man of character and integrity.
My class (1986) voted Faust as our Senior Fellow. He spoke with Ara and Lou at the 2011 Reunion Weekend (our 25th) and then came to our class dinner. He couldn't have been nicer.
Most if not all the stories I've heard of him acting badly were during his tenure at ND. I think you've nailed the primary reason for that. Outside of that context, I'm sure he's no saint, but I suspect the good outweighs the bad.
for failures. And he couldn't see that he was the problem. He had to have his fingers pried off the position. After five years, that kind of denial is culpable.
Had a very different tone. I agree with you. I posted it there and the response was he was a good man who knew when it was time to leave. That's revisionist history in my book.
Across to post anything intelligent
He wanted a sixth year.
He's still be head coach if they'd let him.
I recognize the argument that it's extraordinarily difficult to give up your dream. And despite the fact that Faust was eventually the only person on the face of the earth who thought, as he famously told Sports Illustrated, so the statement could find its way onto a magazine cover, "I'm gonna make it," I won't go so far as to accuse him of keeping the job after he knew he was doomed to failure.
But goddamnit, don't tell the entire world, including me, across from his office desk, in April 1981, that, "I love Notre Dame so much nobody will have to tell me to leave if I can't get the job done."
And at the very least, an acknowledgment that he didn't love Notre Dame enough to do what was best for Notre Dame at some point after year three (at the very latest) would be appropriate and appreciated.
and I mean everyone on campus knew he would never get it done at worst after the middle of year three and most after year one. The players thought he was a joke. I thought he did a great disservice by hanging on to the end. I don;t think he was a bad guy, but I have a hard time with all of the canonization. In many ways he was rather selfish.
But it was also painfully clear that Ted and Ned wholeheartedly abetted Faust's desire to stay through the end of his excruciating five-year contract. They knew as well as the rest of us that Faust was a catastrophe, but we also knew that they valued honoring Faust's contract more than they did promptly correcting the egregious mistake they made in hiring him in the first place.
The last shred of hope that Faust would leave before the end of his contract disappeared the day after ND ended the 1983 regular season with a 23-22 home loss to Air Force. It was our third straight loss to drop our record to 6-5, and Faust's sixth straight loss in November overall. Many of us were hoping ND would use that as the occasion to fire him. Instead, ND announced it would be accepting a bid to the Liberty Bowl -- an absolute shocker at the time, since ND never had previously accepted a bowl bid with a record worse than 8-3, and in fact had rejected bowl bids in 1971 (8-2) and 1975 (8-3). We all knew that bowl bid was being shoved down our throats, and that it was a signal that Faust wasn't leaving before the end of his contract.
1984 and 1985 were "dead man walking" years. As usual with Faust, we had fleeting success, including a surprising four-game winning streak to end the 1984 regular season, capped by a 44-7 annihilation of Penn State and ND's first win in LA in 18 years. But we knew we'd crash-land before long. The 1985 season featured "Farewell Tour" t-shirts which included ND's season schedule, with the last line reading: "January 1 -- Idle."
Fortunately, we also had enough faith in Ted and Ned to make up for that long, sorry slog by hiring an excellent replacement for Faust. I only regret that you and I weren't students when Holtz was coach.
In the understandable, though very wrong-headed, desire of Fr. Ted and Fr. Ned to do right by Gerry, that just gave even more fuel to the fire when Fr. Jenkins finally did the right and extraordinary difficult thing to launch Willingham after three seasons.
Speaking of the '83 Air Force game, my ex-roommate, his brother and I were burning game tickets we had eaten directly outside the press box entrance after the game, when out came Fr. Ted and Fr. Ned to witness our act of frustration.
They were close enough to light their cigars, had they chosen.
I stayed at a tailgater the entire time.