Knute Rockne Memorial Society

Knute Rockne “Spirit of Sports” Awards Celebration

Friday, Nov. 3, 2017 Palais Royale, South Bend


The 2017 Knute Rockne “Spirit of Sports” Award Celebration will be the first major event of the Knute Rockne Memorial Society. The event will be held the evening of Friday, Nov. 3, at the historic Palais Royale ballroom in downtown South Bend.

Classic Rockne-SweatshertThe awards honor the spirit and legend of Coach Rockne, recognizing those who have played and coached football, and served their nation and communities, in the decades since his life.

A particular focus of the 2017 Rockne Awards will be the extraordinary life and career of legendary Notre Dame coach Ara Parseghian, who died Aug. 2 at the age of 94. The Rockne Lifetime Legend Award will be presented to Coach Parseghian’s family.

AraIn addition, several of Coach Parseghian’s players and staff members will be honored with Rockne Awards, each for a notable characteristic they share with both Ara and Coach Rockne:

COURAGERocky Bleier, 1968 captain; veteran; 4-time Super Bowl champion.

PERSEVERANCEMike Oriard, walk-on to 1969 captain; author and professor.

INNOVATIONTom Reynolds, thought leader in business and education.

HUMANITARIANDan Harshman, long-time CEO of South Bend’s Logan Center.

LOYALTYBrian Boulac, assistant coach to Ara; long-serving Athletic Dept. staff member.

DISTINGUISHED SERVICERoger Valdiserri, legendary ND sports information director.

CHAMPIONRyan Harris, standout offensive tackle for the Irish (2003-06) who went on to win a Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos.

The Knute Rockne Memorial Society is an independent, not-for-profit, educational
organization dedicated to enriching and enhancing the legacy of the legendary Notre Dame coach, who transformed the game of football a century ago, gained a legion of followers and inspired generations.

The Society’s goal is to make 2018 The Year of Rockne to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Rockne’s inaugural season as Notre Dame head coach. Please see the list of planned activities and areas of emphasis below.

Click here to find out more about the awards dinner on November 3 or how you can help support the efforts of the Society. Or, contact author and Rockne biographer Jim Lefebvre at:, or by phone at 612-242-3581.


Rockne Memorial Society Mission

To perpetuate and advance the name and legacy of Coach Knute Rockne and all that he stood for, honoring his life and all the lives he touched, by teaching, recognizing and supporting coaches and athletes in their pursuit of outstanding leadership, achievement and sportsmanship.

cropped-rockne41.jpgHe changed how the game of football was played, coached, watched and promoted.

He inspired a nation with an unyielding
dedication to achieving excellence with honor.

He showed countless coaches how to
positively influence young lives.

Now, we bring the life and legacy of the great Knute Rockne to a 21st century audience.

Areas of EmphasisGBBY 45G/0382:  Football Coach Knute Rockne at practice with players, c1920s.

  • Educating target audiences on the life and legacy of Coach Rockne
  • Gathering like-minded people for special events honoring Rockne
  • Empowering those in athletics to adopt and follow “the Rockne way.”
  • Recognizing those best expressing the highest aspects of achievement, determination, respect, sportsmanship
  • Inspiring all others to reach for the highest level of such expression.
  • Advocating for a safer, saner game of football to survive for decades.

Planned Projects

  • eBook9780981884127Documentary film adaptation of award-winning biography Coach For A Nation: The Life and Times of Knute Rockne.
  • Knute Rockne “Spirit of Sports” Awards Celebration honoring outstanding achievement in athletics….and in life.
  • Online “Coaches Corner” resource for today’s coaches of all sports at all levels, to better follow Coach Rockne’s principles, including one-on-one coach mentoring
  • An annual Rockne Weekend of activities to support and encourage today’s coaches and athletes to emulate Rock’s way.
  • Development of a Knute Rockne Museum and Education Center for detailed, permanent interpretation of his life and legacy.


How You Can Support The Rockne Memorial Society

YOU are the critical factor in making this organization effective in honoring Coach Rockne, and bringing all that he stood for alive in today’s world.

Your support, combined with that of others, creates a lasting legacy which advances Coach Rockne’s goals of honest victory, fair play, and concern for others. YOU make the difference!

Donor Levels
Founding Sponsors, KRMS

Legend                     $50,000

Hall of Famer           $25,000

All-American            $10,000

Champion                $5,000

Starter                     $2,500

Act TODAY to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity to help create a permanent memorial to Coach Rockne
and inspire today’s coaches, athletes, teachers and learners to greatness.
Become a Founding Sponsor of the Knute Rockne Memorial Society.


Jim Lefebvre, Executive Director
Knute Rockne Memorial Society
P. O. Box 881
Notre Dame, IN 46556