- Daniel Ruettiger
name= Daniel Eugene "Rudy" Ruettiger
caption=Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger dressed in his #45 for the Georgia Tech game
school=University of Notre Dame
birthdate=birth date and age|1948|08|23
Last player carried off the field at Notre Dame
Joliet Catholic High School
Notre Dame University, Holy Cross Junior College
Daniel Eugene "Rudy" Ruettiger (b.
August 23, 1948in Joliet, Illinois, United States) is a motivational speaker best known as the inspiration for the motion picture "Rudy".
Early life and college career
Daniel Ruettiger (nicknamed "Rudy") grew up in a middle class household, the third of fourteen children. He attended
Joliet Catholic High School, where he played for locally famous coach Gordie Gillespie and led the team in tackles his junior and senior years. After graduating from high school, Ruettiger worked in a steel mill where a close friend and mentor died in a explosion influencing him to attend Holy Cross Junior College in South Bend, Indiana.
After two years at Holy Cross, and three rejections to transfer to the
University of Notre Dame, Ruettiger was accepted as a student in the Fallof 1974. It was during his time studying at Holy Cross that Ruettiger discovered he suffered from dyslexia.
Ruettiger harbored a dream to play for
Ara Parseghianand the Fighting Irish football team, despite being 5' 7" and 165 pounds (far shorter and lighter than would be expected of a collegiate football player). [ [http://www.rudyinternational.com/truestory1.cfm Rudy international ] ] Parseghian encouraged walk-on players from the student body. For example, Notre Dame's 1969 starting center, Mike Oriard, was a walk-on who eventually won a Rhodes Scholarship and an NFL contract with the Kansas City Chiefs[ [http://nd.edu/~ndmag/su2002/oriard.html It's Not All Fun and Games: college athletics, Notre Dame Magazine Online, summer 2002 ] ] .
Ruettiger earned a place on the Notre Dame scout team, a practice-squad that helps the varsity team practice for games. Merv Johnson was the coach that was instrumental at keeping Rudy on as a scout team player.
After Parseghian stepped down after the 1974 season,
Dan Devinewas named head coach. In Ruettiger's last opportunity to play for Notre Dame at home, Devine put him into a game at defensive end against Georgia Techon November 8, 1975. In the movie "Rudy", Devine is depicted as a villain, not wanting Rudy to dress for his last game; however, during the actual game, Devine reportedly came up with the idea to dress Rudy. In the final play of Ruettiger's senior season with the Fighting Irish, he recorded a sack, which is all his Notre Dame stat line has ever shown. Ruettiger was carried off the field by his teammates following the game. Ruettiger actually played for two plays. The first time he was unable to get to the quarterback, but on the second play he sacked the Georgia Tech quarterback. [ [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wpzcWJtLys Actual footage of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger recording the final sack for Notre Dame against Georgia Tech on November 8th, 1975.] ]
He and fullback Marc Edwards are the only players in Notre Dame history ever to be carried off the field by his teammates.
October 14, 2005, Ruettiger was the master of ceremonies at a pep rallyfor Notre Dame Football. The Fighting Irish were about to play rival and then #1-ranked University of Southern California(USC) the following day and Head Coach Charlie Weisasked some Notre Dame legends, including Tim Brownand Joe Montana, to come back and speak at the rally. Ruettiger came out of the tunnel at Notre Dame Stadium to a loud ovation. [ [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9707335/ "One for the ages: USC edges Notre Dame: Leinart pulls trickery with 3 seconds left, Bush scores 3 TDs in 34-31 win"; msnbc.com] ]
Ruettiger is currently married and has two children.
Ruettiger's story was told in the
1993film "Rudy", which starred actor Sean Astinin the title role. The film was written by Angelo Pizzo, directed by David Anspaughand produced by Rob Fried, the award-winning team that created " Hoosiers". Ruettiger appeared in a cameo as a fan behind Rudy's dad in the final game scene.Fact|date=September 2008
* "Rudy's Insights for Winning in Life"
* "Rudy's Lessons for Young Champions"
* "Rudy & Friends"
* "Dream Power" (audio cassette)
*Pagna, Tom, "Notre Dame's Era of Ara", Diamond Communications, Inc., 1976, ISBN 0-912083-74-3, pp 182-183, regarding Parseghian's use of walk-ons.
DoctorateDegree from Our Lady of Holy Cross College
* The key to numerous cities across the nation along with special proclamations for his inspiration, commitment, and human spirit
* Honorary assist to the
Attorney General of Louisiana
Distinguished American Award
* Recognition from President
George W. Bush
* Recognition at the
* Recognition from the House of Representatives in the state of
* A Proclamation from the
Governor of Nevadagranting an Official Rudy Award Day
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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