Football Coach. He was innovative during his coaching career at Notre Dame when football was still in its infancy, and was the first coach to initiate intersectional rivalries and build a national schedule. His record and legacy has never been duplicated. During 13 years as head coach his teams collected 105 victories, 12 losses, 5 ties, and 6 national championships with five undefeated seasons. On vacation after the 1930 season, he decided to go to Los Angeles on a business trip. He boarded a Transcontinental-Western flight from Kansas City. Shortly after takeoff, the plane encountered a storm and all eight on board were killed as the plane crashed in a rural area near Bazaar, Kansas. The crew and passengers were aware of their fate; when his body was recovered he had a rosary clutched in his hand. His funeral service was held at Sacred Heart Church located on the campus of Notre Dame. His body lay in state at his home on Wayne street, and procession to the church was witnessed by some three hundred thousand mourners. Upon arrival at Highland Cemetery in South Bend, six of his players from the previous year (Marty Brill, Tom Yarr, Frank Carideo, Marchy Schwartz, Tom Conley and Larry Mullins) carried him to his final resting place.
Bio by: Donald Greyfield
Bonnie Gwendoline Skiles Rockne
1891–1956 (m. 1915)