InsideNDSports - Golic Sub-Par Classic at Notre Dame drives money to South Bend charities
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Golic Sub-Par Classic at Notre Dame drives money to South Bend charities

Mike Golic Jr. (left) and Mike Golic Sr. (right) pose with former Notre Dame linebacker Bob Crable at the Golic Sub-Par Classic.
Mike Golic Jr. (left) and Mike Golic Sr. (right) pose with former Notre Dame linebacker Bob Crable at the Golic Sub-Par Classic. (Rachel Pincus, Golic Sub-Par Classic)

SOUTH BEND — A stroke of good fortune turned Billy Joel’s concert at Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday into the warmup act for the first Golic Sub-Par Classic.

The legendary music artist certainly drew a bigger crowd than the two-day charity golf event hosted by the Golic family on Notre Dame’s campus, but it made for a convenient start to the weekend.

“We got absolutely lucky, and it worked out well, because we were able to do some auction items for tickets for that as well,” said Mike Golic Sr., a former Notre Dame football captain (1984), NFL player and longtime media personality. “That was something that fell in our lap. When it falls in your lap, you take advantage of it.”

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Golic Sr. took his turn at the microphone Sunday night as host of a private party on the Irish Green for friends, fellow Notre Dame alums and event sponsors filled with food, live music, a live auction and the conclusion of an online silent auction.

“You’re nervous, because you’re wondering, ‘OK, who’s going to show? Is it going to go well?’ Then all of a sudden you’re the host,” Golic Sr. said. “It’s like my daughter just got married a little while ago, and you’re the host of that event. So we’re the host of this event and hoping everything goes well.”

And in the middle of it all, Golic Sr. and his wife, Christine, became grandparents for the first time. Their daughter-in-law, Jenny, gave birth to her first child with their son Jake.

“It was pretty wild. Great people showed up — a lot of people. The auction went incredibly well. It looks like we raised a lot of money, which is the most important thing here, for the different charities that we’re raising it for. So it’s been great.”

Proceeds from the two-day event will be distributed to four local charities: South Bend’s Center for the Homeless, the South Bend Animal Resource Center, the Food Bank of Northern Indiana and the Logan Center.

The event concluded Monday with golf at the Warren Golf Course on Notre Dame’s campus. Foursomes were paired with former Notre Dame athletes or other celebrities with connections to the university or the Golics.

“I’ve golfed in a ton of these, as a lot of these guys have, but all of a sudden when it’s yours, now you’re asking people for their time to come in and take a weekend out of their schedule for you,” Golic said. “There was the nervousness of asking and seeing the response.

“The response was overwhelming. We have guys who played here in the ‘70s to just a few years ago. That’s probably been the coolest thing to have, so it’s been a little mini reunion as well from guys I played ball with here to guys I played in the NFL with. That’s been cool.”

The list of former Notre Dame football players in attendance included Bob Crable, Allen Pinkett, Larry Williams, Mike Kelley, Reggie Brooks, Tom Thayer, Brady Quinn, Ryan Harris, Kyle Rudolph, Tommy Rees, Julian Love and more.

Mike Golic Jr., who played for the Irish from 2008-12, was joined by a number of former teammates who helped donate their time and money to show support to his family and the charities they chose to support.

“The best part about Notre Dame is you get people from all over the place,” Golic Jr. said. “The worst part is then you leave, and everyone spreads back out again. To not only find an occasion like this to bring everyone back together, but for everyone to be giving of their time to come back and open their wallets, too, to make sure that we raise the money that we want to here, it’s super meaningful to us. We’re incredibly grateful to all the sponsors, the volunteers, the people who help put this on and certainly so many of our friends that came out.”

Rudolph, an NFL free agent who played tight end at Notre Dame in 2008-10, didn’t hesitate to get involved. He’s seen the generosity of the Golics throughout the years.

“Whether it’s events like these, other charity events that we’ve all been to over the years, they’re the first ones to sign up and raise their hand and donate money,” Rudolph said. “To be able to support the Golic family and all the great work they’re doing here in a community that’s near and dear to all of our hearts, it was a quick yes. That’s why you see so many people out here supporting it.”

Love, a former Notre Dame cornerback (2016-18) and current New York Giant, showed up just two days after his own wedding to be one of the celebrity golfers.

Mike Golic Sr. and Christine Golic became grandparents while hosting the Golic Sub-Par Classic.
Mike Golic Sr. and Christine Golic became grandparents while hosting the Golic Sub-Par Classic. (Rachel Pincus, Golic Sub-Par Classic)

Quinn, a former Notre Dame quarterback (2003-06) and current college football analyst, was sporting a Colorado Avalanche hat Monday in support of Jack Johnson, his brother-in-law, winning the Stanley Cup on Sunday. With so many former players back on campus, the Sub-Par Classic continued an offseason filled with reunions after new Notre Dame head football coach Marcus Freeman pushed for former players to attend events around the Blue-Gold Game in April. Freeman and his wife attended the private party Sunday night.

“It’s been awesome,” Quinn said. “I always feel like coming back to this place is like coming home. One, when you have the Golic family looking to support the South Bend area and so many charities, that’s a big piece of it.

“But obviously Marcus is really making players feel welcome. Adding that energy that I think we’ve been missing for quite some time has been huge. I’m excited for this season. I’m excited to see what Marcus and the fellows are going to be able to do this year.

“I’m just thankful for the Golic family having us out and really being able to give back to the South Bend community.”

The Golics hope to continue the event in future years. It will be hard to top the circumstances of this year’s debut with the Billy Joel concert and nice weather, but a successful blueprint was put in place.

“A big thank you to everyone,” Golic Jr. said. “This has been so cool. So many people who have touched our lives are coming out here to help make the lives of others better. Notre Dame’s always been so dedicated to serving the community and having a service-oriented mindset. That's been on display this weekend.”

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