Tributes to Fr. Joyce's memory


Roger Valdiserri, former sports information director

Notre Dame has lost one of Her greatest sons and his passing will be felt by untold numbers of people who loved him, admired him and respected him.Having worked for him for almost 30 years in his role as guardian of Notre Dame athletics, he continually reminded those under his purview that the program must always operate with complete integrity. No one could ever question his firm resolve to keep Notre Dame’s intercollegiate athletic program above reproach.He was admired and respected in the world of college athletics and had a strong voice in the deliberations of the NCAA. He believed in the advantages of college sports, not only for the participants, but for the institution as a whole.

Joe Doyle, longtime sports columnist for The South Bend Tribune

Father Joyce always kept the interest of Notre Dame and its student-athletes foremost in his mind. Some of his hiring decisions might be— and were— questioned, but never his dedication to making the Notre Dame athletic program the very best. And because of his insistence on moral and fiscal responsibility, Notre Dame is a beacon of light in the sometimes tawdry business of college athletics.

Ara Parseghian, head football coach, 1964-74

Father Joyce and I had a great relationship, starting when he recommended my hiring to Father Hesburgh. I consider myself very fortunate to have been a part of the wonderful “Ned and Ted years.”p. Father Joyce understood fully the importance of academics and athletics at the university level. He wore many hats, as the executive vice president, one of which was his relationship with the NCAA. Notre Dame’s status nationally was great enhanced by his work in maintaining athletic sanity. He will be missed by many.

Jim Gibbons, former assistant vice president, special events and protocol

Father Joyce was a respected voice in intercollegiate athletics, one listened to in National Collegiate Athletic Association and College Football Association circles. He monitored the integrity of athletics at Notre Dame very carefully, paying particular attention to admission standards and graduation rates. He was proud of the fact that athletics at Notre Dame earned a surplus that went to support academic aspirations at the University and contributed to the overall fiscal prosperity enjoyed during his tenure as executive vice president. He served Notre Dame’s president, Father Theodore Hesburgh, for 35 years, and the two made up one of the most successful administrative teams on any American campus. “Ted has the books, and Ned has the tickets” was a standard way of describing the way in which they divided their tasks, but, of course, Father Joyce’s influence extended well beyond athletics into the overall management of the fiscal fortunes of Notre Dame.
I was personally indebted to him. He game me the opportunity to return to Notre Dame to coach baseball and basketball, kept me on the payroll during a long and serious illness, and was a constant source of support in my tenure as assistant vice president in University Relations.He will be missed by many people, not the least of which are members of the Holy Cross community.

Gerry Faust, head football coach, 1981-85

Fr. Edmond P. Joyce allowed me to live my dream at the University of Notre Dame. Conferring through Fr. Hesburgh, I was announced as the 24th Head Football Coach on November 24, 1980.
I was blessed to be able to coach there under Fr. Hesburgh and Fr. Joyce. They were always supportive and concerned for me, my family and the Notre Dame family.
I’ve lost one of the best men I’ve known in my lifetime. A great priest, leader and friend. He loved Notre Dame and he loved Christ.p. I’ve known Fr. Joyce for about 30 years. I’m really going to miss him and so will the Notre Dame family. As in life, he always sat on the right side of Fr. Hesburgh, now he is sitting on the right side of Christ.
My memories will never fade of my friendship with Fr. Joyce. Hopefully one day again we will be with each other in Heaven. May God be with him always.

Lou Holtz, head football coach 1986-96

Father Joyce is a true saint. His love for the Lord, Notre Dame, the students and his love for football are truly all outstanding. He has meant so much to Notre Dame over the past 30-40 years. He hired me to be the coach at Notre Dame. I’ll never forget the semi-annual dinners that Beth and I would have with Father Joyce and Father Hesburgh that would last for more than four hours. Those were truly amazing experiences. I really think Father Hesburgh had Father Joyce in mind when he wrote his book “God, Country and Notre Dame.” Father Joyce is truly a very special person.

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