(Photo: Courtesy of Irish Illustrated)

Rick Mirer grew up just a few miles down the road from South Bend in Goshen, Indiana. The son of a high school coach, Mirer was born to play quarterback.  In high school his senior year he threw for 3,973 yards and 30 touchdowns and earned several awards as the nation’s best high school quarterback.

Sought out by nearly every major program in the country.  Mirer was truly on the fence between several schools until he received a phone call from  Notre Dame recruiting coordinator Vinny Cerrato from the sidelines of the Fiesta Bowl at kickoff of the Irish clash with West Virginia for the 1988 national championship.  That call really got Mirer’s attention and he made the choice to head to Notre Dame.

Mirer served one season as an understudy to last week’s “hero”,  Tony Rice and took the reins at the start of the 1990 season. He led the Irish to a 9-3 season that included a berth in the Orange bowl where the Irish suffered a narrow 10-9 loss to #1 Colorado.

In 1991 Mirer really came into his own throwing for 2,117 yards and 18 touchdowns passes. Always quick in the pocket and on his feet, Mirer ran for 306 yards and another 9 scores.  The Irish that year went a somewhat disappointing 10-3 but pulled off a 39-28 upset win over #3 Florida in the Sugar Bowl.  In that game Mirer played well completing 14 of 19 with 2 touchdown passes.

In 1992 Mirer led the Irish to a 10-1-1 mark and tossed another 15 Touchdown passes. That season included a memorable come from behind victory Mirer engineered over Penn State in his last game in Notre Dame stadium in the famous “snow bowl”.

Mirer left Notre Dame as the all-time leader for touchdown passes and was second all time in total offense, completions and passing yards.

As a starter he had led the Irish to a 29-7-1 record.

The Seattle Seahawks made Mirer the second overall pick in the 1993 NFL draft. Mirer started every game in his first year and was named co-NFL rookie of the year along with his old ND teammate Jerome Bettis.  Despite has fast start in the NFL he ended up bouncing around to several NFL teams after four years in Seattle.  He stayed in the NFL until 2004 and threw a total of 50 touchdown passes.  

Rick Mirer, ND starting quarterback from 1990-1992, an ALL-TIME IRISH HERO.

ByPhil Houk

For over 25 years, bringing you the glory of Notre Dame football.

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