Domers in the news

Author: Carol Schaal '91M.A.

After the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team’s 2-1 win over Ghana in its first match of the 2014 World Cup in June, Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon introduced Americans to the team’s key players. First up was Matt Besler ’09, the boyish anchor of the USA defense, whose only weakness, Fallon said, was “hitting puberty in the middle of the game.” Besler’s performance in Brazil as the first ND alumnus to represent the United States on international soccer’s biggest stage was credited as a key to the team’s early success. Several European club teams tried to lure Besler abroad, but the former first-team All-American and academic All-American at Notre Dame opted for a contract extension with his hometown Major League Soccer club, Sporting Kansas City. . . . He’s been coaching for 60 years, and Richard Tighe ’52 of Webster City, Iowa, thinks he might hold the winningest football record of any ND graduate. Since he has 413 wins, it’s tough to argue with that claim. Still coaching at Saint Edmond Catholic School in Fort Dodge, Iowa, the 83-year-old began his coaching career in Hamilton, Ontario. After seven years in Canada, he returned to his home state of Iowa, where he coached at a variety of schools and also taught phys ed and social studies. According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, his overall 413-155-8 record puts him at eighth among the nation’s winningest high school coaches. . . . Grisel Ruiz ’05, an attorney with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center in the San Francisco Bay area, was named one of 2014’s “Fun, Fearless Latinas” in the spring issue of Cosmopolitan for Latinas. The designation highlights “Latinos making a difference in our communities.” . . . When Rick Hilton ’74 retired in June after 15 years as headmaster of the Lyndon Institute in Lyndon Center, Vermont, the school named a dormitory in his honor. Hilton Hall is home to 22 students and two faculty families. In 2003 Hilton revived the dormitory program the school had closed 16 years earlier, enhancing Lyndon’s cultural diversity and global reach. The private secondary school enrolls 600 students from 16 countries and operates three campuses in China. When he learned that the dormitory would bear his name, Hilton said, “Had I known they were naming the new dorm for me, I would have built it in stone, not clapboard.” . . . Monnie Kane likes to brag about her husband of 52 years, former high school principal George Kane ’61. Since 2010 he’s been a man about town — as a Hugh Hefner lookalike, that is. The Florida resident won the Sunburst Convention Mirror Image Award in 2011 for his resemblance to the Playboy Enterprises founder, and as a celebrity impersonator his appearances this year have included the Stars Car Show in Las Vegas, the International Bikini Model Search in Cancun, Mexico, and the Cleveland International Film Festival. . . . Brothers Bill ’04, Walter ’07 and Tom ’07 Hessert are off and running with their online game Launched in early 2013, the site streams live horse races from around the world on which players age 18 and over may wager anywhere from 10 cents to $10,000. The New-York based company “is really for social gamers and casual gamblers,” Walter told “This is for players who want to just have some fun and test their luck.” . . . During the 13 hours and 50 minutes it took Sara Marley ’90 to complete her 21-mile swim of the English Channel in late July, she often sang the “Notre Dame Victory March.” A sports editor at Bloomberg News in London, she is the daughter of Jerry Marley, a ND engineering professor emeritus. . . . Molly Griffin Lalonde ’06 told Alex Trebek, host of Jeopardy!, that she met her husband (Chris Lalonde ’06) at a bar, “a famous one, it’s called Corby’s, from the movie Rudy. We went to Notre Dame, and that’s kind of our good Notre Dame meeting story.” She also has a good story to tell about her appearances in early June on the popular quiz show; the pediatric nurse practitioner student from Nashville, Tennessee, was a four-day champion, winning $55,300. . . . They were the 10th seed in The Basketball Tournament, a 32-team, single-elimination contest that started play in Philadelphia and ended at Boston University on June 28. No matter; the Notre Dame Fighting Alumni, led by 19 points from Tyrone Nash ’11, grabbed a winner-take-all check for $500,000 by beating Barstool Sports in the final game. Coached by Jordan Cornette ’05, managed by Kieran Piller ’07, ’10J.D. and cheered on by ND basketball coach Mike Brey, most of the squad consisted of former Irish players from the past decade. “We felt like we were back in college,” Ryan Ayers ’09 said. Also on the team were Chris Thomas ’05, Tory Jackson ’10, Torin Francis ’06, Russell Carter ’07, Rob Kurz ’08, Colin Falls ’07 and Zachary Hillesland ’09. . . . He works full time as a lawyer in Louisville, Kentucky, but Marc Murphy ’81 also draws on his love of art to create editorial cartoons for Louisville’s The Courier-Journal. The lawyer/cartoonist also volunteers as a basketball coach at Nativity Academy, a Catholic middle school serving children from low-income families. . . . “Investigations of corruption, bribery, fraud and money-laundering are increasing,” wrote Jeffrey Thinnes ’79 in Industry Week earlier this year. The CEO and co-founder of the consulting firm JTI Inc. frequently writes about how establishing an ethical business culture will help sustain a company. . . . At a Japanese prison camp in 1942, then U.S. Marine Corporal W. Howard Chittenden ’49 acquired a set of hand-carved chessmen from another POW. When he was among the prisoners moved to another camp the following year, he stashed the pieces in a tea tin and left them with another POW. Seventy years later, the tin and its well-traveled chessmen were returned to Chittenden, who relates the tale in the July 2013 issue of Leatherneck Magazine.