Ara's Final Game (1975 Orange Bowl)

The last time Notre Dame and Alabama met in a bowl game, it was a matchup dominated by defenses. Behind touchdown runs from Wayne Bullock (‘75) and Mark McLane (’77), the Irish jumped out to a 13-0 lead, and held on for a 13-11 victory in the 1975 Orange Bowl. It was also the final game for Notre Dame head coach Ara Parseghian, who had decided earlier in the year that the 1974 season would be his last. In this ‘Strong and True’ moment, Parseghian talks not about his final game as head coach, but about his decision to retire after 11 seasons leading the Fighting Irish. The accompanying images from the 1975 Orange Bowl are from the University of Notre Dame Archives.

1975 Orange Bowl program

The 1975 Orange Bowl featured the Fighting Irish (9-2) against the Crimson Tide (11-0).

1975 Orange Bowl trophy

Notre Dame defeated Alabama, 13-11, sending Ara Parseghian out with a victory in his final game as head coach.

1975 Orange Bowl ticket

More than 70,000 fans watched Notre Dame and Alabama on New Year’s Day 1975.

Tom Clements run

Irish quarterback Tom Clements running against the Crimson Tide.

Ara Parseghian

From left: Student manager Steve Solan, head coach Ara Parseghian, and assistant coach Tom Pagna on the sidelines.