The name Gus Dorais is not very familiar to football fans, but it should be. He was one of the game’s greatest innovators and was the first All-American to play at Notre Dame. He was, arguably, the star of the Fighting Irish on a team that also included one of the game’s biggest legends – Knute Rockne. Dorais was the team’s starting quarterback, a stud runner and kicker, and a heckuva safety. He played professionally for the Massillon Tigers of the Ohio League before his career was cut short by another legend – Jim Thorpe. But, the biggest contribution Dorais made to the game was as a coach; and, perhaps, the biggest decision he made was his first decision – whether to stay in South Bend and take a job with Notre Dame, or move on to become the head coach at Dubuque. He chose the latter in an effort to help his best friend – Knute Rockne – who needed a job after his had fallen through. Of course, Rockne went on to help build Notre Dame into one of college football’s greatest teams, while Dorais built smaller programs: Dubuque, Gonzaga and the University of Detroit. After his college coaching days were over, Dorais took on the challenge of coaching the NFL’s Detroit Lions. On this episode of Sports’ Forgotten Heroes author Joe Niese and Gus’s grandson, Bob Dorais, who worked together to write the book, “Gus Dorais, Grid Iron Innovator, All-American and Hall of Fame Coach,” are here to talk about Gus, his friendship with Rockne, and his career on the field and on the sidelines.
For more on Gus Dorais: Gusdorais.com
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