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Rockne honored by Notre Dame in game versus Navy

In the house that Rockne built, this weekend is a dedication worthy of the very statue that adorns it.

“All the members of our family are very, very proud of this,” said Knute Rockne, III, who is the grandson of the legendary coach.

Rockne was born Knute Kenneth Rockne in Voss, Norway in 1888.

The future coach immigrated with family to Chicago when he was just five years old.

He eventually would play for the Irish at age 22.

During his 13 seasons at the helm, Rockne won 105 games and led the Irish to three national championships not only putting Notre Dame Football in the spotlight but also putting college football on the map.

Known for his emotional speeches and his dedication to growing the sport, Rockne died on March 31, 1931.

“Grandpa died in 1931 and I was born in 1950. So I never got to know him. I got to know my grandmother much, much better,” said Rockne, III.

And through her, he was told stories of not just the legend but the man he was.

“Grandpa just being a normal individual. Like the time he went to replace a screen door at their house and grandma says he put it on backwards. He liked to go to Hully and Mikes down by the LaSalle Hotel and play a game of pool, he wasn’t’ against that,” said Rockne, III.

87 years after the original stadium was dedicated in a game versus Navy, the university and the team will likewise celebrate Rockne’s legacy in their 91st consecutive meeting with the midshipmen. 

“I think it’s a very special weekend for all of us. It’s a chance to keep grandpas memory alive. And the fact the heritage and the tradition of Notre Dame will always be here, its special,” said Rockne, III.

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