Terry Brennan, former Notre Dame football coach who ended Oklahoma’s 47-game win streak, dies at 93

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Former Notre Dame football coach Terry Brennan, who led the Irish to a 7-0 win over Oklahoma in 1957 that broke the Sooners’ 47-game winning streak, has died at his home in Willamette, Illinois. He was 93 years old.

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The university announced Brennan’s death on Wednesday afternoon.

A former halfback on Notre Dame’s 1946 and 1947 national championship teams, Brennan was only 25 when he was hired as Notre Dame’s head coach in 1954, replacing the legendary Frank Leahy.


When asked if he was too young, Brennan famously said, “Oh, I don’t know. I’ll be 26 in a few months.”

In five seasons as a coach under Golden Dome, Brennan held a 32–18 record, including his first year in a 9–1 campaign, the only defeat coming in the second game to No. 19 Purdue when the Irish were ranked No. 1. Was placed. .

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Brennan was 8–2 in 1955, before a dreadful 2–8 score in 1956. The silver lining that season was Paul Hornung who led the Irish in passing, rushing, scoring, kickoff, punt return and on their way to the Heisman Trophy. .

“He was a 60 Minutes artist,” Brennan said of Hornung, who died in November 2020.

Brennan’s best time at Notre Dame came at Norman on November 16, 1957, when the Irish beat the Oklahoma Sooners 7–0 to break a 47-game winning streak.

Notre Dame player Dick Lynch, who scored the winning touchdown in the game, is all smiles as he shows head coach Terry Brennan a magazine article titled: "Why Oklahoma is unbeatable" as the team returns to South Bend on November 16. .  , 1957 after defeating the Sooners 7–0.  South Bend Tribune Archives

Dick Lynch ran for the only score of the game late in the fourth quarter, capping a 20-play, 80-yard drive.

After a 6–4 season in 1958, Brennan was fired. He will never be a football coach again. He served as a conditioning coach for the Cincinnati Reds baseball team in 1959 before joining the Chicago investment banking firm.

As a player, Brennan rushed for 1,716 yards and averaged 5.8 yards per carry over four seasons (1945–48).

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