Theismann, As in Heisman

It has often been told that the Notre Dame athletic department changed Joe Theismann (‘71)’s name in order to help his candidacy for college football’s most prestigious award. In this ‘Strong and True’ moment, former sports information director Roger Valdiserri (‘54) tells the true story of how Theismann came to rhyme with Heisman. In 1970, the Irish quarterback finished second for the Heisman Trophy, behind only Stanford’s Jim Plunkett.

Joe Theismann

Irish quarterback Joe Theismann finished second in the 1970 Heisman Trophy voting, behind only Jim Plunkett of Stanford University.

Joe Theismann run

Theismann was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

Theismann pose

Theismann strikes the pose.

Theismann under center

As a starter at Notre Dame, Theismann went 20–3–2, and threw for 4,411 yards and 31 touchdowns.