A mini summer camp reunion on the college gridiron

Tablet Magazine has a really interesting article about Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly’s Jewish past and the mini camp reunion that took place between he and one of his former campers when Notre Dame played the University of Miami recently:

The 1987 yearbook of Camp Mah-Kee-Nac, an all-boys sleep-away camp in the Berkshires, commemorates the best summer of everyone’s lives. There are stories about the production of Guys and Dolls, a trip to Cooperstown, and how the Olympics broke out. There’s also a brief clip introducing one of the camp’s new head counselors, a recent graduate of Assumption College, a Catholic school in Worcester, Mass., who was about to start as a football coach at Grand Valley State College. The byline on that piece belonged to “Jedd Fisch, Navajo 21.” The counselor’s name was Brian Kelly.

Twenty-five years later, Brian Kelly is the head football coach for the University of Notre Dame, the most prominent Catholic institution this side of Vatican City, which plays its games under the shadow of a mural called Touchdown Jesus. And Jedd Fisch, his former camper, is the offensive coordinator for the University of Miami—perhaps the most accomplished Jew in football today outside of the owner’s box. So, when the two embraced after their teams played each other on Oct. 6, their old Mah-Kee-Nac friends watching the game on NBC realized they were witnessing one of the unlikeliest events in recent football history: a primetime college game that was also a miniature camp reunion.

Read more at http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/114865/notre-dame-coachs-jewish-past

Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at Tangzine.com and MatthewRalph.com. I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

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