Brighton High School coach Knute Rockne shares the name of his legendary grandfather, who helped perfect the forward pass as an offensive weapon while coaching football at Notre Dame from 1918 to 1931. But Utah's Rockne says he doesn't feel he has to fill his grandfather's shoes.
"I became involved in athletics because it's something I enjoy, not because I want to imitate him," he told Deseret News staff writer Brian West.Rockne also doesn't consciously employ the specific techniques of his grandfather, but he does follow some of the basic standards of football and sports. "The things I incorporate from my grandfather are the principles I've more or less inherited," he said.
The U.S. Post Office has issued a 22-cent commemorative stamp honoring Rockne's grandfather and recently gave him a poster of the stamp, which he said will be placed on a wall next to his grandfather's picture.
"I speak for my entire family in saying that we're very proud of this," Rockne said. "It's a monumental occasion in our lives and something deeply cherished by everyone."
As head coach of the Brighton sophomore football team and former coach at East Carbon, Rockne has accumulated a record of 28 wins and 15 losses. His grandfather earned a record of 105 wins, 12 losses and 5 ties before he died in a plane crash in 1931. Utah's Rockne is also an assistant baseball coach, head girl's basketball coach and assistant varsity football coach at Brighton.