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Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame Preparing for Senior Day

November 17, 2021

Senior Day is emotional at every school across the country and Notre Dame will honor around 40 players on Saturday during pregame. 

This year it might be a little more special after the challenges of 2020 combined with Notre Dame fighting for a spot in the College Football Playoff. 

"It's crazy to see it come to fruition," Notre Dame kicker Jon Doerer said. "It happened faster than I thought it would when you're a sophomore or junior. You just don't see it coming that quickly. Now, that it's here, it's kind of unbelievable and I'm glad to be here." 

It might be a little different for quarterback Jack Coan as he's only been in South Bend a year. 

That said, Coan expects running out of the tunnel for the final time to be an emotional moment. 

"To be honest, I'm going to try to soak it all in - my last one at Notre Dame Stadium," stated Coan. "It's crazy how quick it's gone. It's going to be emotional, but I'll do my best to back those emotions and focus on the game." 

And while he's not an overly emotional guy in interviews, Coan admits he does show his emotions with things he loves. 

"It's stuff I love - I love football and I love Notre Dame," said Coan. "It's definitely going to be crazy with it being my last time there." 

Rick Kimball/ISD
Jack Coan and Mike Coan

Notre Dame defensive lineman Kurt Hinish took part in last year's Senior Day, but this year will be his final time running through the historic tunnel. 

"It's really exciting," Hinish said. "We've talked about it all week. Everyone remembers their last home game in college. We're going to play a really good opponent and we're not overlooking the opponent at all, but I'm excited for senior night." 

Saturday's game will be Hinish's 59th game in the blue and gold, which is a Notre Dame record. 

The Pittsburgh native has been part of many great moments over his career, but one sticks out to him. 

"Beating Clemson and the fans rushing the field," stated Hinish. "Before that, we were battling through a lot. We had to cancel the Wake Forest game because we had so many guys sick with COVID. Getting tested every other day and waking up super early to get tested, it was like everything came into fruition and everything led to that moment. 

"It was sweet to beat the No. 1 team in the country and the fans rushing the field." 

Hinish's legacy is already set in stone, but Doerer has started to develop his as he hit two game-winners this fall.

"That's not up for me to decide," explained Doerer. "I'm blessed to be able to play here. I really enjoyed playing here and getting to know all the guys - to be able to be developed at this place and become a whole person at this place." 

After the crowd leaves, the seniors will gather with their families on the field to take in their final moments inside Notre Dame Stadium.

It's a moment Hinish is looking forward to as his mother wasn't able to make the trip in 2020. 

"Last year for senior day, we didn't get to do anything and my mom wasn't able to come up here because of the COVID rules for her school," said Hinish. "It was just me, my dad and my younger brother taking a picture after the game on the field.

"My mom will be there this year and we'll take a picture after the game. I'm sure she'll be in tears, but she has another kid coming here for four years." 

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