Jack Nolan, who has been the voice of Notre Dame athletics for 39 years, announced Thursday he will retire following the conclusion of the 2020-21 men’s basketball season.
Nolan cited a desire to “get off the road” and “to live a more normal life” with his wife, Rhonda Brown, as the impetus to call it a career.
The Winchester, Mass. native left CNN to call Notre Dame football games for WNDU in 1982. The station, then owned by the university, had rights to broadcast contests that weren’t going to a national audience. (This 1984 Purdue game is an example.)
Nolan also called Notre Dame men’s basketball games in his first year at the station, for both radio and television. He served as analyst to Jack Lorri on the radio and, in 2006, Lorri retired and Notre Dame Sports Properties Nolan to be a full-time employee and play-by-play radio man for the men’s games.
Nolan was also host of the Official Notre Dame Football Post Game Show for more than 25 seasons. The broadcaster counts the late Jeff Jeffers, former Irish running back Reggie Brooks and LaPhonso Ellis and Jordan Cornette — now both of ESPN — as former colleagues.
Nolan is well decorated for his outstanding career, including earning an honorary monogram from the university in 2013.
“Jack Nolan has been with us since I started at Notre Dame and it is hard to think about our broadcasts without him,” Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Brey said in a statement. “His professionalism has made my job easier and his broadcast calls are as much a part of our basketball legacy as ‘The Burn’ or the three-point shot. I will miss having him around the program, but if anyone deserves the ability to enjoy a long and happy retirement it is Jack and Rhonda.”
Tom Rinaldi, Nolan’s former colleague at WNDU, narrated a nice send off:
There is are, no doubt, infinite number of clips that would help tell the story of Nolan’s storied career. (There’s even a supercut of his “GOT IT”s from the 2015 season if you’re so inclined.) But this one, I think, speaks volumes about his professionalism. Jack could have made this moment about himself, but he never forgot his radio audience as he continued to inform them about the game as he took a charge.