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Thursday, April 18, 2024
The Observer

MARTY MOONEY: Quarterback's journey includes Yale and interhall

Irish quarterback Marty Mooney has been on two different Division I college football teams, taken his high school team to the heights of Ohio football, played a little interhall and even found time to defeat Brady Quinn on the gridiron.

Mooney was the star of prestigious St. Xavier High School football in Cincinnati, Ohio, and captained his Bombers to the Division 1 Ohio State Championship game in 2001. On the road to the finals, where the Bombers fell to Ohio powerhouse St. Ignatius, Mooney and his St. Xavier team had to battle future teammates Quinn and Chinedum Ndukwe of Dublin-Coffman High School in the semi-finals.

The 6-foot-2 quarterback threw three touchdowns passes and fought through a hand injury that made it nearly impossible for him to throw the ball in the second half, as he led his team to a 35-14 victory.

"Every once in a while, I give [Quinn] a hard time about it," Mooney said.

The Cincinnati native didn't come directly to Notre Dame after his days at St. Xavier - he took an East Coast detour to the ivy-covered walls of Yale. Mooney was Yale's second-string quarterback as a freshman, but the pull of Notre Dame became too great.

"My whole family is an ND family," Mooney said. "So this is really where I wanted to be, and I really wanted to play football here."

He talked to former offensive coordinator Bill Diedrick during the summer prior to transferring about going out for the football team. After a successful winter tryout, Mooney officially became a member of the Irish squad and worked his way up the depth chart.

"When you go home, everyone says, 'You play football for Notre Dame'. They just want to talk about football, and that's all they ever want to talk about," Mooney said. "Which when you say the same thing over and over again, it kind of gets tiring, but at the same time, it's great. To say you play football for Notre Dame, everyone knows what you do."

In the time between coming to Notre Dame and becoming a full-time player for the Irish, Mooney honed his skills in interhall football. He had free reign over his Morrissey Hall offense and led the Manorites to a semi-finals berth.

"It was fun just to play, I mean to go out there and make up my own plays," Mooney said of the interhall experience. "Basically I could do whatever I wanted, so it was a fun experience."

Since donning the blue and gold, Mooney has been an integral part of the scout team and saw snaps on Oct. 1 against Purdue.

He counts his Purdue plays as one of his favorite football moments, as well as a high school game against bitter rival Elder High School. In the midst of a record-setting crowd at the University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium, he and his Bombers knocked off their cross-town enemy in a grudge match.

Mooney will close out his football career in these next few weeks and move into the field of investment banking, recently having accepted a position with Morgan Stanley in Chicago. But his experiences at this University and with this football team will remain with him.

"To see how this place has changed over the last two years from when Coach Weis came in, and we really felt bad about ourselves after losing to Oregon State, to see where we are now - it's been a great experience," he said.

He is looking forward to embarking onto a new endeavor and likes the close proximity that his new job will have to campus, but he's saddened to have to leave the gridiron behind.

"The only thing I regret is not coming here as a freshman," he said. "I just really loved it here that much."