Former football captain Dan Shannon dies at age 86
Observer Sports Staff | Saturday, July 11, 2020
This past week, Irish football great Dan Shannon died at the age of 86, according to a Friday Notre Dame Athletics post.
Shannon played for the Irish from 1951-1954. During this time, the Irish maintained a 32-5-3 record. He also helped the Irish record an undefeated season in head coach Frank Leahy’s last season at Notre Dame in 1953. Shannon was named one of two team captains the following season and was also named a Sporting News All-American linebacker the same year.
Shannon arguably had the biggest impact on his team during the 1954 season, which was the first year under head coach Terry Brennan. As a team captain, Shannon led the team to a 9-1 record, a Cotton Bowl victory over Texas and an eventual No. 4 ranking in the AP poll.
Shannon made an impact on the Irish defensive as soon as he arrived in 1951, recovering four fumbles during his freshman campaign. Those four fumble recoveries are good for eighth place on the Notre Dame football all-time list for fumble recoveries in a season.
Shannon continued to be involved with the University after his playing days were over, serving as the president of the Monogram Club, an alumni group for former Irish athletes and staff, from 1995 to 1997. As president, he was instrumental in pushing for more awards for athletes, improving Heritage Hall of the Joyce Center. Shannon encouraged the inclusion of women in the club in order to better represent all Irish athletes by admitting a woman to the Monogram Club Board for the first time in its history.
Shannon’s son Gerard and grandson John continued the tradition set forth by Shannon and also played football for the Irish. John recently graduated in 2020 after winning the 2019 Patrick Mannelly Award, which is given to the nation’s top long snapper.
Shannon was born on Aug. 15, 1933 in Chicago to Peter and Marion Shannon. He attended Mount Carmel High School in Chicago and graduated from Notre Dame in 1955. He served in the military for four years, worked as a certified public accountant for some time and was elected president of the Chicago Park District from 1969-73. He even helped the Chicago Park District to host the first ever Special Olympics competition at Chicago’s Soldier Field in 1968.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Kathryn Shannon, his four children, 10 grandchildren and sister Donna Mulchrone.