Rockne, Knute Kenneth

Rockne, Knute Kenneth no͞ot, rŏkˈnē [key], 1888–1931, American football coach, b. Norway, B.S. Notre Dame, 1914. In 1893 he settled with his parents in Chicago. He excelled at football at Notre Dame and with Gus Dorais scored a sensational upset (1913) of the heavily favored Army team through the use of the forward pass—a legal but then seldom-used tactic. Rockne became (1914) a Notre Dame chemistry instructor and served (1918–31) as head football coach. In his 13 years as coach, Notre Dame won 105 games, lost 12, and tied 5; he had five undefeated, untied seasons. Rockne not only made Notre Dame the country's leading football center but also revolutionized football theory. He stressed offense, developed the precision backfield or Notre Dame shift, perfected line play, and developed many stars, including the most famous backfield of all time, the “Four Horsemen of Notre Dame” (Harry Stuhldreher, Don Miller, James Crowley, and Elmer Layden).

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