Roger Valdiserri, Notre Dame SID for 3 decades, dies at 95
OAK BROOK, Ill. (AP) — Roger Valdiserri, who helped tell the story of some of Notre Dame’s greatest football teams as the school’s sports information director for three decades, died Thursday. He was 95.
Valdiserri’s family said in a statement that he died of natural causes at a retirement community outside Chicago. The family said he was surrounded by his five children at the time of his death.
Valdiserri was a native of Pennsylvania who graduated from Notre Dame in 1954. His first job at the school was an administrative assistant for football coaches Frank Leahy and Terry Brennan.
He took over as the school’s sports information director in 1966 under coach Ara Parseghian. Notre Dame won the first of four national championships in football during Valdiserri’s tenure that season.
Valdiserri helped craft the role of the SID in major college football, famously changing the pronunciation of Notre Dame quarterback Joe Theisman when he joined the team in 1967 so it rhymed with Heisman.
Valdiserri rose to the title of associate athletic director at Notre Dame before retiring in 1995.
Last year, he was honored by Notre Dame at its game against Purdue with the dedication of a permanent seat in the press box at Notre Dame Stadium.
The Roger Valdiserri Scholarship Award also was established to be given annually to a student assistant working in in the Fighting Irish sports information department.
Valdiserri is survived by five children, seven grandchildren and five great grandchildren.