Rudy Ruettiger Speaker Profile
Inspiration For The Movie Rudy
Rudy Ruettiger Biography
[[Rudy Ruettiger]] was born August 23, 1948 and is a motivational speaker and former collegiate football player for the University of Notre Dame, who is best known as the inspiration for the motion picture Rudy.
Daniel Ruettiger (nicknamed "Rudy") had a hard time in school because he was dyslexic-a condition that was not well understood at the time. He was the third of fourteen children. He attended Joliet Catholic High School, where he played for locally famous coach Gordie Gillespie. Ruettiger joined the United States Navy after high school, serving as a yeoman on a communications command ship for two years; then he worked in a power plant for two years. He applied to Notre Dame, but due to his marginal grades he had to do his early college work at nearby Holy Cross College.
After two years at Holy Cross, Ruettiger was accepted as a student at Notre Dame on his fourth try, in the fall of 1974. It was during his time studying at Holy Cross that Ruettiger discovered he had dyslexia.
Ruettiger harbored a dream to play for the ++Notre Dame Fighting Irish++ football team, despite being merely 5'6" and 165 pounds-an undersized player. Head coach Ara Parseghian encouraged walk-on players from the student body. For example, Notre Dame's 1969 starting center, Mike Oriard, was a walk-on who eventually won a Rhodes Scholarship and an NFL contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.
After working as hard as possible and showing that he was willing to work as much as he needed to, Ruettiger earned a place on the Notre Dame scout team, a practice squad that helps the varsity team practice for games. Merv Johnson was the coach who was instrumental in keeping Rudy on as a scout-team player.
After Parseghian stepped down after the 1974 season, Dan Devine was named head coach. In Ruettiger's last opportunity to play for Notre Dame at home, Devine put him into a game as defensive end against Georgia Tech on November 8, 1975. In the movie Rudy, Devine is given a somewhat antagonistic role, not wanting Rudy to dress for his last game. However, in actuality, it was Devine who came up with the idea to dress Rudy. In the final play of Ruettiger's senior season with the Fighting Irish, he recorded a sack, which is all his Notre Dame stat line has ever shown. Ruettiger actually played for two plays. The first play was a kickoff, and the second (and final) play he sacked Georgia Tech quarterback, Rudy Allen. Ruettiger was carried off the field by his teammates following the game.
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Videos of Rudy Ruettiger Speaking
Recent Rudy Ruettiger Blogs
Posted on 17 February 2014 | 7:01 pm
Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, the inspirational Notre Dame football player whose life inspired the film "Rudy", will be speaking at The Summit At Plantsville in Plantsville, Connecticut on April 4 at 7:00 p.m. His appearance is inspired by the mission of The Summit at Plantsville, which is a skill nursing facility that offers both short-term rehabilitation and long term care. Since his...[Read More]
Posted on 4 April 2013 | 10:40 pm
Daniel Ruettiger, better known to the world as Rudy, the diminutive Notre Dame football player, is in Rapid City to energize and inspire the crowd at the 2013 Day of Excellence with his message of, “Never Give Up,” “Follow Your Dream,” and “Roll With the Punches.” The scenes from the popular film are part of movie legend: The undersized linebacker with the can-do...[Read More]
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