After 39 years, Jack Nolan retires from Notre Dame
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- After 45 years in broadcasting and nearly 40 years with the university, Jack Nolan, the voice of Notre Dame men's basketball, is retiring. Nolan has been covering basketball and Notre Dame football since 1982.
On March 6, 2021 Nolan called his final game at Purcell Pavilion. It was a thrilling upset victory over 11th ranked Florida State.
“It was a wonderful way to go out and a wonderful way for this basketball team to redeem itself. Maybe it’s good that it wasn’t a capacity crowd because the very nice tribute to the 6 or 700 people who were in there, I teared up a bit, you never want to let them see you cry. There’s no crying in radio! But I almost did, that was emotional," Nolan said.
But the Irish weren’t done just yet. They pulled off another dramatic win over Wake Forest in the opening round of the ACC Tournament.
“The last second 3 by Trey Wertz, with the great steal before that by Cormac Ryan. It was the perfect play to call," Nolan said.
Long before he called his final game winner, Nolan knew he was destined to call moments just like that-
Allison: Did you ever imagine that you would be doing what you're doing; play by play voice, traveling the world with Notre Dame?
Nolan: I dreamed of announcing games from the time I was very, very young. I played sports but I always thought that I would be announcing games.
Nolan studied broadcasting at the University of Missouri and got his first job at CNN.
A year later he landed in South Bend.
"First game that I called was Notre Dame vs Purdue in Notre Dame Stadium, September 14th, 1982. And I predicted that Notre Dame would win 28-0 and they did and I have not predicted a game since," Nolan said.
From Lou to Kelly, Digger to Brey, it's the relationships that stand out the most.
"What a great ending against Wake Forest and we get to interview Trey Wertz. And even now, it’s a little emotional. He came over and he goes, ‘We’ve got your back. You’re not done yet.’ And that, that these guys, who I haven’t traveled with as much this year, that you were part of the family- leaving a family is kind of hard, but you’ll always be a welcomed relative when you come back," Nolan said.
Nolan may have put down his microphone, but he’ll always have the love of Notre Dame.
Nolan says he and his wife Rhonda are looking forward to taking a cruise around the world next winter. They also plan to become Florida snowbirds.