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The man who got close to restoring Notre Dame football to its storied glory, athletic director Jack Swarbrick, will step down in early 2024, according to Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated.
Swarbrick, 69, took over in 2008 and hired University of Cincinnati football coach Brian Kelly in 2010. Kelly led the Fighting Irish closer to a national championship than at any time since Notre Dame’s last one in 1988 under Lou Holtz. The Irish lost in the BCS national championship game to Alabama in the 2012 season.
But Kelly led the Irish to the College Football Playoffs in the 2018 season before losing to Clemson in a semifinal. Kelly left Notre Dame for LSU after the 2021 season.
Swarbrick is not retiring and said he may have one more career move in him.
Notre Dame To Have Jack Swarbrick Mentor Replacement
Notre Dame 1993 graduate and NBC Sports Group chairman Pete Bevacqua, 52, will replace Swarbrick. A former walk-on punter under Holtz, Bevacqua will become a special assistant to school president and reverend John Jenkins on July 1. Swarbrick will mentor Bevacqua until the transfer of power.
ND has had an exclusive television deal with NBC since 1991 that expires in 2024. Bevacqua was president of NBC Sports from 2018 until last year when he became chairman. He previously was the CEO of the PGA, which has been in the news lately.
“This is a dream come true,” Bevacqua said. “With the exception of my family, nothing means more to me than Notre Dame.”
University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins released a statement Thursday.
“It has been my privilege to work alongside Jack Swarbrick as he led Notre Dame to unprecedented success over the past 15 years while providing such an influential voice in college athletics,” Jenkins said in a Notre Dame release. “And I’m excited that we have such a talented and experienced leader in Pete Bevacqua to spend some time learning under Jack before assuming new leadership in one of America’s most storied athletic programs.”
Swarbick was also quoted in the release.
“It speaks volumes about Notre Dame and Father Jenkins’ leadership that we can implement such a well-conceived succession plan and attract someone of Pete’s talent and experience,” he said. “I have worked closely with Pete throughout his time at NBC and based on that experience, I believe he has the perfect skill set to help Notre Dame navigate the rapidly changing landscape that is college athletics today.”