A four year monogram winner, three year starter and two time team MVP, Autry Denson is Notre Dame’s all-time leading rusher with 4318 yards. Born in Lauderdale, Florida, Denson came to South Bend in 1995 at the invitation of Lou Holtz, and as a man of deep faith Notre Dame seems to have been a natural fit.
Denson made an immediate impact as a freshman with 695 yards and 8 touchdowns and never looked back. He posted eye popping numbers in each of his four seasons. 1179 yards and 10 TDs as a Sophomore, 1268 and 13 TDs as a Junior and 1176 yards and 15 TDs as a Senior. His career mark of 47 total touchdowns, slots him second all-time at ND.
Despite his career numbers, because he played on teams that never won more than 9 games, Denson tends to be underrated. In fact one of his greatest collegiate performances came in a losing effort. In his last game, the 1999 Gator Bowl game, against Georgia Tech, Denson rushed for 130 yards and 3 touchdowns and was named the game MVP.
Originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he went on to a 5 year pro career that included stints with The Dolphins, Bears , Colts and in the CFL.
Denson then went into coaching. Starting at the high school level, he quickly moved up the ladder. In 2015 while at Miami of Ohio, he caught Brian Kelly’s eye and succeeded Tony Alford as ND running backs coach. Over the next four seasons he developed such greats as Josh Adams, CJ Procise and Dexter Williams.
Denson left ND after the 2018 season for the head coaching position at Charleston Southern University where he has posted a a 2 season record of 8-8. This past Spring he published a devotional book entitled Running by Faith.
A great runner and a man of faith, Autry Denson is an All-time Irish Hero.