1949 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football
National champion
APNo. 1
1949 record10–0
Head coachFrank Leahy (7th season)
Offensive schemeT formation
CaptainLeon Hart
CaptainJim Martin
Home stadiumNotre Dame Stadium
← 1948
1950 →
Template:1949 college football independents records

The 1949 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team represented the University of Notre Dame during the 1949 college football season. The Irish, coached by Frank Leahy, ended the season with 10 wins and no losses, winning the national championship.[1] The 1949 team became the seventh Irish team to win the national title and the third in four years. Led by Heisman winner Leon Hart, the Irish outscored their opponents 360–86.[1] The 1949 team is the last team in what is considered to be the Notre Dame Football dynasty, a stretch of games in which Notre Dame went 46–0–2 and won three national championships and two Heisman Trophies. The Irish squad was cited by Sports Illustrated as the part of the second best sports dynasty (professional or collegiate) of the 20th century[2] and second greatest college football dynasty.[3]


September 24IndianaW 49–653,844
October 1at WashingtonW 27–741,500
October 8at PurdueNo. 2W 35–1252,000
October 15No. 4 TulaneNo. 1
  • Notre Dame Stadium
  • South Bend, IN
W 46–758,196
October 29vs. NavyNo. 1W 40–062,000
November 5at No. 10 Michigan StateNo. 1W 34–2151,277
November 12vs. North CarolinaNo. 1W 42–667,000
November 19IowaNo. 1
  • Notre Dame Stadium
  • South Bend, IN
W 28–756,790
November 26No. 17 USCNo. 1
  • Notre Dame Stadium
  • South Bend, IN (rivalry)
W 32–057,214
December 3at SMUNo. 1W 27–2075,457
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game



Depth chartEdit

POS Name Name Name Name
QB Bob Williams John Mazur Bill Whiteside
LHB Frank Spaniel Ernie Zalejski Bill Gay Leo McKillip
RHB Larry Coutre Billy Barrett Dick Cotter
FB Emil Sitko Jack Landry Del Gander
LE Bill Wightkin Jim Mutscheller Doug Waybright
LT Jim Martin Al Zmijewski John Zancha
LG Frank Johnson Paul Burns Art Perry
C Walt Grothaus Jim Hamby
RG Bob Lally Fred Wallner Bill Higgins
RT Ralph McGehee Gus Cifelli John Nusskern
RE Leon Hart Ray Espenan Chet Ostrowski


Coaching staffEdit

Head coach: Frank Leahy

Assistants: Bernie Crimmins (first assistant / backfield), John F. Druze (chief scout), Bill Earley (backfield), Joe McArdle (guards), Robert McBride (tackles), Fred Miller (volunteer assistant), Benjamin Sheridan (freshmen)



Award winnersEdit

Heisman voting:

Leon Hart, 1st[5]
Bob Williams, 5th[5]
Emil Sitko, 8th[5]


† Emil Sitko, FB 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
† Leon Hart, E 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Bob Williams, QB 2 1 1 1 1
Jim Martin, T 1 2 1 1 2 2
denotes unanimous selection      Source:[1]

College Football Hall of Fame Inductees:

Name Position Year Inducted
Jerry Groom Center 1994
Leon Hart End 1973
Frank Leahy Coach 1970
Jim Martin End/Tackle 1995
Emil "Red" Sitko Halfback/Fullback 1984
Bob Williams Quarterback 1988

Notre Dame leads all universities in players inducted.[7]

1950 NFL DraftEdit

The following players were drafted into professional football following the season.

Player Position Round Pick Franchise
Leon Hart End 1 1 Detroit Lions
Jim Martin Guard 2 26 Cleveland Browns
Larry Coutre Halfback 4 43 Green Bay Packers
Mike Swistowicz Halfback 5 55 New York Yanks
Frank Spaniel Halfback 5 58 Washington Redskins
Ernie Zalejski Defensive Back 5 62 Chicago Bears

John Nusskern Tackle Green Bay Packers


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