Interesting People—a monthly WTVP series
hosted by Ed Sutkowski—features
half-hour conversations of thoughtful dialogue with ordinary individuals who
have achieved extraordinary measures of success in the arts, business,
communications, education, science and sports.
"Thus, the task is
not so much to see what no one yet has seen, but to think what
nobody yet has thought about that which everybody sees."
Host Ed Sutkowski talks with Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger about his story, the movie and his book.
Original Air Date(s): 3/1/2013
Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger,
Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, the third of fourteen children, was born and raised in Joliet, Illinois, and achieved success as a 5'7" 165-pound guard and linebacker under Coach Gordie Gillespie of Joliet Catholic High School. He joined the Navy, served as a yeoman on a communications command ship, worked in a Joliet-based power plant and pursued his dream to play football for Notre Dame. He applied, was rejected given his marginal grades, enrolled at Holy Cross College, a junior college affiliated with Notre Dame and was diagnosed has having a mild case of dyslexia. After four tries, Rudy was admitted to Notre Dame. He "walked on" and at age 27 and after nearly two years of scout team experience, he realized his dream: a 27-second appearance in Notre Dame vs. Georgia Tech game - 3 plays: a kick off, an incomplete pass and a sack of Georgia Tech's quarterback, Rudy Allen.
In 1993, Tristar Productions immortalized his life story with the blockbuster film, Rudy, which starred act Sean Astin in the title role as Rudy. The film was written by Angelo Pizzo, directed by David Anspaugh and produced by Rob Fried, both of whom were involved in Hoosiers. Rudy appeared in a cameo as a fan behind his father and brother during the final scene. The critically acclaimed film, was aired in the White House, received "Two Thumbs Up" from Siskel and Ebert and continues to inspire millions worldwide.
In September 2009, Trusted Sports and Rudy launched the High School Football "Rudy" Awards, which aims to uncover the "Rudy" on every High School football team in America. The award is presented to the most inspirational high school football player who personifies what Rudy calls "the Four C's": Courage, Character, Commitment and Contribution.
Rudy has co-authored several books, including "Rudy's Insights for Winning in Life", "Rudy's Lessons for Young Champions" and "Rudy: My Story", which was published in September 2012. He has also established the Rudy Foundation, whose mission is to help children of all ages around the world reach their full potential. The Rudy Foundation develops and supports programs that positively impact the lives of children cognitively, emotionally, physically and spiritually.