32 Years Ago: Philly Alum Shows No Mercy At Communion Breakfast


"Gerry Faust gave the Notre Dame Club of Philadelphia his best shot at Sunday's communion breakfast.

"He visited every table in the Four Seasons ballroom. He shook hands with all 450 alums and friends in attendance. He smiled for every nervous parent with a Kodak camera.

"He spoke for 20 minutes about the tears that fill his eyes when he walks past the Golden Dome and the pride he feels as part of an athletic department that still does things 'the right way.'" ...

"When he was done, Faust asked if there were any questions. A hand went up in the back of the room.

"'None of us doubt your sincerity or your feeling for Notre Dame,' the man began.

"Faust tensed. He knew what was coming.

"'But,' the man said, 'don't you think you might lack the experience to be a head coach at this level?'

"Faust swallowed hard. He had heard the question before but usually it was asked by a reporter outside a losing locker room. It cut a little deeper when it was raised at an alumni communion breakfast.

"'It was an adjustment, taking over at Notre Dame,' Faust said politely, 'but it wasn't because I went from high school. Any time you change positions, you have a new system, new personnel, new challenges.' ...

"A little girl near the front raised her hand.

"'Do you like being a coach?' she asked with the sweet innocence of youth.

"'I enjoy being a coach when it involves working with young people,' Faust said. 'But I don't enjoy being a coach when I have to answer questions like the last one.'

"The audience responded with its loudest ovation of the day."

"Dealing with the Echoes," by Ray Didinger, Philadelphia Daily News, May 7, 1985