Praise for Triumphs From Notre Dame:
"Lisa writes the untold stories of the young men whose lives were shaped and molded by Notre Dame. So often we only hear of their brief accomplishments on the field, but there is so much more to these outstanding individuals. Lisa brings us the humanistic, passionate and trying stories of these men – the story that mirror the morals, ethics and character that Notre Dame expounds. Thank you, Lisa."
~Darrell “Flash” Gordon
"The men and women featured in this book are special individuals and represent all that is great about Notre Dame. These men and women are significant and they have strived each day to make an impact and difference in all things that they touch. They were and as far as I’m concerned remain Notre Dame student-athletes and I’m proud to have touched many of their lives. Lisa, thank you for your work and sharing with the Notre Dame Family what you so appropriately have named, “Triumphs From Notre Dame: The Echoes of Her Loyal Sons and Daughters.”
~Lou Holtz, former Notre Dame Head Coach
"Karen Robinson Keyes represents all the values and ideals that Notre Dane stands for. She made an impact on our team and her legacy lives on through her and her husband Kevin’s generosity. Lisa Kelly did a masterful job of telling the story of how the Notre Dame values affect our lives forever. Karen’s story speaks to the heart of what being a student-athlete at Notre Dame is like."
~Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame Women's Basketball Coach
"The University of Notre Dame affords those who are blessed to attend, a phenomenal opportunity. Not just in terms of personal accolades or successes, but rather in the fundamental growth and development of individuals as they journey along a path that will undoubtedly change their lives forever. Lisa perfectly captures the spirit of this journey through the eyes of my Notre Dame brothers and sisters in the eloquently written Triumphs from Notre Dame – Echoes of Her Loyal Sons and Daughters. Outstanding!"
Reviews for The Men We Became:
"The men featured in this book are special individuals and represent all that is great about Notre Dame. These men are significant and they have strived each day to make an impact and difference in all things that they touch. They were and as far as I'm concerned remain Notre Dame Student Athletes and I'm proud to have been a part of their lives. Lisa, thank you for your work and sharing with the Notre Dame family what you so appropriately named, "Echoes From the End Zone: The Men We Became."
-Notre Dame Head Coach, Lou Holtz
'My friend and classmate, Lisa Kelly, has done an unbelievable job tracking down some of Notre Dame's greatest characters. Her ability to compile their stories and memories is an accomplishment to be very proud of and celebrated. This is a must read for the Fighting Irish faithful. Well done, LK."
"I'm honored to be included in Lisa Kelly's Echoes From the End Zone: The Men We Became. As a former student-athlete and football player at Notre Dame, I see that most fans have little understanding of what it takes to be a successful student and player at an academic and sports powerhouse like ND.
Of course I loved playing football and wanted more than anything to play at ND: but just because I wanted it didn't make it less challenging and demanding to be successful both on and off the field. Notre Dame sets a high standard for student-athletes, but in doing so it instills values and discipline that helps players transition to life off the field. I owe a lot to the late Mike DeCicco and Father Bill Touhy - the academic advisor and head of Campus Ministry - for setting player standards then being there to support us.
I played football under impressive coaches - my personal leadership mentor Ara Parseghian and the great Dan Devine: and I played with a tremendous group of guys who have remained lifelong friends and inspirations. Reading the stories of the other 24 players featured in Lisa's book reinforced to me what I already knew:
Notre Dame was a difficult decision to make, but it was the right decision. I played on a National Championship Team, and I got an education that has taken me further than I ever dreamed growing up in a small town in Western PA.
Thanks for telling our story Lisa: I hope it inspires future generations of student-athletes to chase their dreams, and helps fans understand just how hard it is to be successful on the field: and off the field."
"In the interest of full-disclosure: Notre Dame is an integral part of my family. My parents put all 3 of their children through ND. It is a bond both within our family and to the wider ND Family. My own 3 children have been appropriately brainwashed from birth; and, finally, I attended ND with probably a dozen of the men featured in this book, many of whom I am honored to still call friends.
Notre Dame Football is such a huge part of my college memories and my ongoing experiences with ND. But football at ND is about so much more than football. It is family and friends coming together from all over this country, and reconnecting throughout each stage of our lives, sharing successes and disappointments, and always appreciating the impact that our time at ND and our ongoing association with the university has had and continues to have on our lives.
"Echoes from the End Zone" captures that Notre Dame impact - the "Value Stream," as author, Lisa Kelly, so aptly named it - on perhaps some of the most famous faces of Notre Dame in recent decades. She has shared the stories of these 25 men, as they have taken lessons learned at Notre Dame and specifically as ND football players, and used them to do good and become great...in a variety of careers and in a whole host of communities around the country. In an age when stellar athletes are often not good role models, all 25 of these Notre Dame men - these former ND football players - are examples of leadership, character and a strong work ethic. The men they became, the lives they've led, and continue to lead, are inspiring and worth reading about, whether you are a Notre Dame fan or simply a fan of athletes "doing it right." (Warning: if you are an ND alum, be prepared to laugh out loud and shed some tears as Lisa takes you down memory lane and also shares some little-known stories from a few of our favorite ND heroes!)"
(Chapter 4, Bobby Brown) - This showed thorough journalistic understanding, compassion and integrity. It is easy to champion Black young men as gifted physically. Yet Lisa went far deeper in her analysis which yielded gems. He's smart. He's driven. He is compassionate. He is strategic. He has fortitude. He has high morals and code of conduct. He pushed through so much adversity to achieve in his life. It is inspiring.
Basically, he is a superhuman being - Notre Dame graduate, star football player, NFL career, Law School, MBA school, Wall Street/Hedge Fund, Private Equity, all while caring for his Mother (God rest her soul) as well as being a good father and provider. *whew*
My hat is off to him.
Kudos to you, Lisa, for the courage to sift through everything to uncover this gem of a human story. Thank you!