The college football world is mourning the death of legendary Notre Dame coach Ara Parseghian on Wednesday.
The two-time national championship winning coach (1966, 1973) passed away at the age of 94, according to a release from the university.
As the tributes carried on through the day, Alabama coach Nick Saban was asked to give his thoughts on Parseghian, who was a part of a Michigan State-Notre Dame rivalry that impacted Saban’s career for many years.
Nick Saban talks about the passing of Ara Parseghian pic.twitter.com/xSZmLhhC0b
— Ryan C. Fowler (@RyanCFowler) August 2, 2017
“I met him several times,” Saban recalled. “I have a lot of respect for him. Of course, when you coach at Michigan State for 10 years the Notre Dame-Michigan State rivalry was huge. The 1965 game, which everybody remembers as maybe the game of the century, Ara was involved in that.
“There was a unique relationship between Notre Dame and Michigan State. It wasn’t a rivalry that was built out of hatred or anything like that. It was sort of out of mutual respect. So I think everybody at Michigan State, including myself, who had the opportunity to meet Ara through the years really had a tremendous amount of respect for him not only in terms of what he was able to accomplish as a coach but for the kind of person he was.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Notre Dame’s Twitter account released a fitting tribute to Parseghian that is worth your time, no matter which team you cheer for:
Our entire program mourns the loss of one of the pillars of our University, Coach Ara Parseghian. pic.twitter.com/nXS3xyei05
— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) August 2, 2017