Then Notre Dame head football coach Bob Davie was honored as the 2000 Penguin of the Year along with Bob Dove. Davie was the head coach at Notre Dame from 1997 through the 2001 season. While leading the Fighting Irish, he owned a 35-25 record in five years.
Twice he led Notre Dame to nine-win seasons -- in 2000 and 1998. In 2001, his final as the head coach, the Irish were 5-6. Notre Dame won five of its last eight games after a tough 0-3 start against a difficult schedule, which included Nebraska, Michigan State and Texas A&M.
In his final game at Notre Dame, he led the Irish to a 24-18 win at Purdue and he also won his final home game beating Navy.
He had one of his most successful seasons as a head coach leading the Irish to a 9-3 record and berth in the Fiesta Bowl this past fall.
Davie, who was honored at at the 2000 banquet for his contributions to the Youngstown State University football program as a player and his impact on college football as a head coach. He guided Notre Dame to three postseason bowl appearances in his five years as head coach. In his fourth season, Davie had the Irish back in the top 10 in the nation rankings and after a 2-2 start won their final seven regular-season games to earn a BCS invitation to play Oregon State in the Fiesta Bowl.
In 2000, Notre Dame opened with a win over Texas A&M before suffering a disappointing overtime loss to Nebraska. In the loss to the Cornhuskers, the Irish lost starting quarterback Arnaz Battle to a broken wrist, but Davie and the Irish came back the next week to beat Big Ten Champion Purdue 23-21.
Following a heartbreaking last-minute loss at Michigan State, Notre Dame steamrolled the rest of the competition the remainder of the season. The Irish defeated Stanford, Navy, West Virginia, Air Force, Boston College, Rutgers and USC to earn a trip to the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Ariz.
Although Notre Dame finished 5-7 in 1999, the Fighting Irish had big victories over USC and Oklahoma, but the season came down to a string of three straight heartbreaking losses to nationally-ranked Michigan, Purdue and Michigan State by a total of 19 points.
In 1998, Notre Dame opened the season with a resounding triumph over defending national champion Michigan, scoring 30 straight second-half points against a defense ranked number one nationally the previous year.
The Irish later posted an eight-game overall winning streak (Notre Dame's longest since 10 straight to start the '93 campaign), won all their games at home for the first time since 1989 and posted at least six home wins for only the second time in history (the '88 national championship team won seven at home).
Notre Dame did it in '98 with a series of spine-tingling finishes. Wins over Purdue and Army resulted on last-minute field goals, the Boston College victory came thanks to an epic goal line stand - and the LSU win included the biggest Irish comeback since 1986.
It all came together in impressive enough fashion to make Davie one of the semifinalists for the Walter Camp Foundation national coach-of-the-year award. In fact, the 9-3 Irish record marked the most victories ever by an Irish coach in his second season (Knute Rockne and Dan Devine also won nine each).
Davie's first season with the Irish in 1997 produced a turnaround unlike anything seen in the history of Notre Dame football. After a 1-4 start, Davie saw his Irish win six of their last regular-season games, including five straight to end the regular season, to earn an Independence Bowl invitation. Highlighting that streak were back-to-back wins over 11th-ranked LSU (in which Notre Dame for the first time in history played a game without either a turnover or a penalty) and 22nd-rated West Virginia - for the first back-to-back wins over ranked opponents since '92.
Notre Dame's appearance in the Independence Bowl gave Davie the distinction of being the only first-year Irish head coach to lead the school to a bowl game. Davie also became the first coach since Devine in 1975 to lead the Irish to a winning record in his first year in charge of the Irish program.
When Notre Dame in January 1994 offered then-Texas A&M defensive coordinator Davie the same position with the Irish, Davie determined the opportunity later, Davie's glad he didn't.
When Notre Dame went searching for a new head football coach in November of 1996, it didn't have to look far. The University found the successor to Lou Holtz just a few doors down the hallway. Davie, Notre Dame's highly-regarded defensive coordinator from 1994-96, brought those 20 overall seasons of experience as a collegiate assistant coach with him after being named the 26th head football coach at the University of Notre Dame on Nov. 24, 1996.
Davie in '96 finished his third year as inside linebacker coach on Holtz's staff after serving in the same position with Texas A&M's highly-regarded defensive units the previous five years. In addition to bringing 10 years of experience as a defensive coordinator (he also held that post at Tulane in 1983-84) to the Irish head job, he also had served three years as an assistant head coach.
During the '95 season, Davie took over responsibility for the Irish team after Holtz underwent neck surgery in mid-September at the Meyo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Davie directed the team in Holtz's absence as the Irish defeated Vanderbilt 41-0 and took on a number of additional duties during Holtz's recovery from the surgery.
Davie, a Sewickley, Pa., native, who grew up in Coraopolis, Pa., had been involved with a long series of top-flight defenses, including an A&M "Wrecking Crew" unit that led the nation in total defense in 1991 (222.4 yards per game) and was third in 1993 (247.6 yards). In his last five years at A&M, his defensive units gave up only 13.3 points per game. Preseason football publications in the summer of '94 and '95 recognized Davie as the top defensive coordinator in the country -after earning similar accolades in '92.
Davie first joined Texas A&M in 1985, spent his first four seasons as outside linebacker coach - and helped the Aggies finish eighth, fourth, seventh and 14th nationally in total defense from '85 through '88.
Beginning in '89, Davie took over as inside linebacker coach and defensive coordinator, and then became assistant head coach in '93.
His 1993 A&M defense led the nation in pass efficiency defense (75.0 rating points) and ranked second in the country in scoring defense (10.8 points per game). His defenses led the Southwest Conference in all four defensive statistical categories - total defense, rushing defense, scoring defense and pass efficiency defense - each of his last three seasons. That three-year defensive reign of dominance is unmatched in Southwest Conference history.
He played a key role in A&M's three consecutive Southwest Conference crowns and Cotton Bowl berths in 1991-93, highlighted by a combined 32-5 mark over those three seasons (including a league-record 22-game conference winning streak).
Davie previously spent two years as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Tulane in 1983 and '84 - and served as linebacker coach at Pittsburgh for three years beginning in 1980. He helped the Panthers rank tops in the nation in total defense in '80 and '81 and third in '82. He coached linebackers at Arizona in '78 and '79, following a year as a graduate assistant at Pittsburgh in 1977.
He was involved in 15 bowl games during his 20 years as an assistant coach, including seven Cotton Bowls (six during his stay at A&M), two Fiesta Bowls (with Notre Dame in '94 and with Arizona following the '79 campaign), plus once each in the Orange and Sugar bowls.
Born Robert Edwin Davie, Jr., on Sept. 30, 1954, Davie graduated from Moon (Pa.) Senior High School, then earned his degree in education in 1976 from Youngstown State.
As a three-year starter at tight end for Youngstown State playing for head coaches Rey Dempsey and Bill Narduzzi, Davie caught nine passes in '73 for 99 yards and one touchdown, two for 32 in '74 and 21 for 255 in '75 - including six for 61 in a '75 game versus Western Illinois - for career totals of 32 receptions for 386 yards (12.1 yards per catch). He helped the Penguins advance to the NCAA Division II playoffs in '74.
He and his wife, the former Joanne Fratangelo, are parents of a daughter, Audra, and a son, Clay.