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Former AD Wadsworth passes away at age of 60

Joe Hettler | Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Mike Wadsworth was athletic director at Notre Dame for just five years, but his impact on the school will likely last much longer.The former athletic director from 1995-2000 died April 28 at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. He was 60.Wadsworth left his mark on Notre Dame in variety of ways. During his tenure, the Irish entered the Big East conference for almost every sport, Notre Dame Stadium expanded by 20,000 seats and he played a crucial role in negotiating Notre Dame’s television contract with NBC Sports for all home games. “Mike Wadsworth was a genuine Notre Dame man who made substantial contributions to the University,” Notre Dame President Father Edward Malloy said in a press release. Wadsworth also helped negotiate Notre Dame’s role in the Bowl Championship Series for football. He aided in the creation of a Life Skills program for athletes in 1996, and the Irish sports program was ranked No. 3 by The Sporting News, which ranked schools on categories ranging from on-field performance to academic excellence.But Wadsworth’s life was not limited to athletics. The Toronto native worked in government, law, broadcasting and politics as well. Following his departure from Notre Dame, Wadsworth worked as an arbitrator and mediator for a Canadian-based law firm, Stitt, Feld, Handy & Houston. From 1971-81, Wadsworth practiced law, while also pursuing a career in media. He was a sports columnist for a time and broadcast games on television and for radio. He became vice president for administration at the Tyco Co. in 1981 and completed the advanced management program at Harvard Law School in 1985. Wadsworth was also appointed as Canada’s ambassador to Ireland in 1989.Wadsworth graduated from Notre Dame in 1966 with a degree in political science and played football for the Irish. Wadsworth had nagging knee injuries throughout his career but still managed to play professional football. After college, Wadsworth played in the Canadian Football League for five years and earned rookie of the year honors during his first season on the Toronto Argonauts. He is survived by his wife and three daughters.