Forgive me for being a few days late with this one. Better late than never.
Former Notre Dame quarterback Cliff Brown died last Monday of a heart attack at the age of 60. Brown was the first African-American to start at the position for the Irish, becoming the starter midway through the 1972 season.
Brown died in Harrisburg, Pa., and David Jones of the local paper there, the Patriot-News, has a moving obituary that pays proper respect to the man who paved the way for many at the position.
“I never worried about anything like that,” coach Ara Parseghian said. “I came up playing with blacks in high school, college and the pros [with the Cleveland Browns]. That may have been an issue in some minds. But it certainly wasn’t in mine nor was it on the team or the staff.
“And Cliff was a good person. Which made it very easy. He was a laid-back guy who always had a smile and did well with his teammates.”
There's plenty of interesting anecdotes in there from his son, Cliff, and former Irish All-American wideout Tom Gatewood. Give it a read.