The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Bobby Renkes: Texan will head home for position with KPMG

Ken Fowler | Friday, November 17, 2006

Bobby Renkes has always been a good student.

When the Dallas Morning News named Renkes one of the top-20 players in the region as a junior in high school, “the Texas schools” began recruiting the place kicker. But a leg injury in the second game of his senior season kept him off the field so much that it scared away the Lone Star State’s top three universities – Texas, Texas Tech and Texas A&M – from offering Renkes a scholarship.

“It was kind of tough because I thought I might have been able to get a scholarship,” Renkes said. “But it was really sort of a blessing. … Had that not happened, I might not have ended up at Notre Dame.”

But the diligent student had some other options. Several Ivy League schools showed interest in Renkes, and his grades opened other avenues for him to attend a football school.

He turned down those prestigious universities in the Northeast and enrolled in South Bend as a non-athlete who still had hopes of wearing a college uniform.

Four years later, Renkes will graduate a semester early, take more classes in the spring and begin his professional career with financial powerhouse KPMG back home in Dallas.

“I’ll save my parents a semester’s worth of tuition,” Renkes said.

Renkes interned with the firm last summer and jumped on the chance to work as a certified public accountant, provided he passes the CPA exam. And it was the kicker’s school – not his sport – that helped him fit in with the company.

“It was amazing, the Notre Dame connection,” Renkes said. “Just talking to anybody at the Chicago office, everybody from Notre Dame [who works for KPMG] goes to Chicago. But as soon as Dallas knew that they had a chance to get a Notre Dame person, they were all over it.”

Renkes said Dallas KPMG partner Rick Ehrman, a Notre Dame graduate, was one of his best influences during his internship.

“He kind of took me under his wing,” Renkes said. “Every time he comes up for a game he calls me about the tailgate.”

Renkes has gotten into four games as Notre Dame’s kickoff specialist this season – starting at the position from Georgia Tech through the Michigan State game. He averaged 61.4 yards per kickoff on 21 attempts before freshman Ryan Burkhart (29 attempts, 58.9-yard average) took over the starting job.

“If I didn’t see the field one bit, I would have been just as happy being a part of the Notre Dame team,” said Renkes, who didn’t start playing football until his standout junior season in high school.

After playing soccer “forever,” Renkes saw his first collegiate action on the gridiron only three years after his first-ever football appearance. Against Stanford in 2004, he had three kickoffs of 58, 59 and 50 yards – the last being a touchback after a personal foul penalty against the Cardinal.

“It was a little overwhelming,” said Renkes of that first appearance.

Renkes got five more starts that season, making 20 more kickoffs with three more touchbacks. He finished the season with 1,319 yards for a 57.3-yard average.

Renkes didn’t see any action as a freshman or junior, but the senior with a 3.674 GPA (and 3.733 GPA in the spring of 2006) is happy with his four years at Notre Dame.

“I always grew up thinking of Notre Dame as a great school to go to,” Renkes said. “I looked at a lot of the Ivy League schools for academic purposes and a lot of the other schools for football purposes, and Notre Dame was the one that really put the two together.”