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From Brown to Notre Dame, Dawson Goepferich finds niche with Irish

| Friday, December 18, 2020

Dawson Goepferich, a special teams swiss army knife who serves as Notre Dame’s primary backup at both kicker and punter, knows a thing or two about top academic schools. Goepferich kicked and punted for the Brown Bears of the Ivy League for four seasons before coming to Notre Dame as a graduate transfer. 

“We felt like we wanted to strengthen the position. If we felt like we could take a grad transfer that had experience at that position, we certainly were going to do that,” head coach Brian Kelly said before the start of the 2020 season. “He was coming here for graduate work and it just made sense for us to embrace him into our program.”

While at Brown, Goepfrich was primarily a reserve for his first two years before becoming the kickoff specialist his junior year. As a senior, he handled the trifecta of kicking off, punting and place kicking. He made seven of 12 field goals during his career at Brown, with a career long of 35 yards. He also made 39 of 43 extra points. As a punter, he averaged 38.1 yards per attempt. He graduated with a double major in Economics and Modern Culture & Media in May 2020. 

Courtesy of Notre Dame Athletics
Irish graduate student kicker and punter Dawson Goepferich boots the ball on a kickoff during Notre Dame’s 52-0 shutout win over South Florida on Sept. 19. Goeperifch kicked off twice against the Bulls and nailed his lone extra point try.

Goepferich is from Holt, Mo. and played high school football at Kearney High School, where he holds 14 different Missouri high school kicking records. He made all 82 PATs and 12 field goals, including a long of 53 yards in high school.

Goepferich hasn’t seen much playing time at Notre Dame this season, because both senior kicker Jonathan Doerer and sophomore punter Jay Bramblett have been pictures of reliability this year. Goepferich did see action in the 52-0 win over South Florida, kicking off twice and drilling his sole point after attempt. 

“In every season there are surprises. Your arrival to our university and our football program was a good one this year,” special teams coordinator Brian Polian said in a tweet on senior day dedicated to Goepferich. “You helped stabilize our room and provide some humor and energy. I am glad that we had this season together and grateful for what you have contributed.”

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