Even before the NFL Draft gets underway... it’s charity golf season. This year, a Fort Wayne charity organization called the Mad Anthonys will be honoring one of the all-time greats in Notre Dame Fighting Irish history, Jaylon Smith, with a “Red Coat.”
Smith, a Fort Wayne native that made his early name as a football player winning state titles for Bishop Luers High School. He went on to be a dominating player for the Irish for three years and won the Butkus Award for being the nation’s top linebacker as a junior. A devastating knee injury in the Fiesta Bowl kept Smith from being a top 5 pick in the ensuing NFL Draft, but the Dallas Cowboys jumped on him in the second round and with the 34th overall pick, Smith found a new home in Texas.
Mad Anthonys is a charity organization dedicated to helping children, and it’s based out of Fort Wayne, Indiana. There is a dinner where the honored guest(s) receive a very bright red coat, and then the next day they play reasonably decent golf at the Fort Wayne Country Club. It’s a pretty big deal for the city and many of its residents.
Smith is the first former Notre Dame football player to receive this honor since Moose Krause was awarded the Red Coat along with Ara Parseghian. Head Coach Brian Kelly was honored last year, and the event has a strong history of Notre Dame ties (the Purdue Boilermakers, Indiana Hoosiers, and Indianapolis Colts also do well here for obvious reasons).
The full Notre Dame list is as follows:
- 1958 Terry Brennan
- 1962 Jim Crowley, Elmer Layden, Don Miller and Barry Stuhldreher (4 Horsemen)
- 1974 Moose Krause and Ara Parseghian
- 1978 Dan Devine
- 1989 Lou Holtz
- 1992 Dick Rosenthal
- 2002 Sean Astin (Rudy)
- 2018 Brian Kelly
The same event also gave Jim Harbaugh a Red Coat in 1996 — but we won’t hold that against them.
Jaylon will be honored alongside local businessman, John Tippman.
“It’s an absolute honor to stand alongside John and join an amazing family of Red Coat recipients,” Smith said. “Just as importantly, I’m excited to help support Mad Anthonys Children’s Foundation in raising money for the Children’s Hope House and the services they provide families throughout our region.”
The dinner will be held on June 14th with the golf event to follow the next day.