Parseghian overshadows Montana at Notre Dame practice

As if Notre Dame players weren’t plenty excited already for the start of the 2010 season under a new regime, waking up the echoes a little early can never hurt.

Former Fighting Irish head coach Ara Parseghian, who led the team to national championships in 1966 and 1973 — and a shared one in 1964, delivered a message to the team Thursday in South Bend.

Just after warm-ups, while players gathered around in a huddle, head coach Brian Kelly introduced the 87-year-old legend, who proceeded to give a five-minute talk to the team. Parseghian was 95-17-4 in 11 seasons with the Irish in a career that began with the university in 1964.

Parseghian’s message centered on “The Three E’s” — Effort, Execution & Endurance. Do it hard, do it right, and do it through four quarters.

“I know for our players, they haven’t had Coach Parseghian speak to the team — a lot of them hadn’t met Coach Parseghian,” Kelly said after practice. “It was really cool to be on the field and have him come out and really take control of the huddle. He walked out there, took over the huddle right away and talked about toughness — mental toughness and physical toughness, and what it takes to win. It was just a great message.”

Former Irish quarterback Joe Montana was at practice, as well. It’s not too often that the name Montana gets overshadowed. Thursday was one of those days.

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