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Notable Family Members
Notable Phelps Anson Green Phelps, Merchant and philanthropist Austin Phelps, Congregational clergyman, theologian and author Charles Edward Phelps, Congressman, Judge, Author Delos Porter Phelps, Lawyer and U.S. Assistant Treasurer Edward John Phelps, Lawyer, educator Dr. Francis Phelps, Representative and Senator George M. Phelps, Master telegraph instrument maker and inventor Dr. Guy Rowland Phelps, Founder, Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance John Phelps, Clerk of the Court at the trial of King Charles I Judge James Phelps, Judge and Congressman Judge John Jay Phelps Judge, merchant, and entrepreneur. Judge John Phelps, Constitutional Convention Signatory from Connecticut John Wolcott Phelps, Brigadier General, United States Volunteers Mary Ann Phelps Rich, Latter-day Saints Pioneer Mary Phelps Jacob, Inventor of the Brassiere Noah Phelps, A Patriot of 1776 and Revolutionary War Spy Oliver Phelps Merchant, Revolutionary War veteran, Representative, Senator land promoter Rev. Philip Phelps First President, Western Theological Seminary Richard Phelps, Bell-founder for Churches Throughout England John Smith Phelps Lawyer, Repesentative, Governor Samuel Shethar Phelps, Jurist, Congressman, and Senator Samuel Phelps, English Actor.html Stephen Sumner Phelps, Illinois Pioneer and Origin of the Hawk Eye State Name Thomas Stowell Phelps, Rear Admiral and Civil War Veteran William Walter Phelps, Congressman, Ambassador, and Judge William Wines Phelps, Judge, Latter-day Saint, Publisher and Writer William Lyon Phelps, American educator, author and critic
 

Richard "Digger" Phelps

General, Author, Abolitionist and Presidential Candidate

Richard "Digger" Phelps (born 4 July 1941) was the coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish basketball team in the 1970s, 1980s, and part of the 1990s. The nickname "Digger" derives from his birthplace of Beacon, New York, where his father owned a funeral service. Professional baseball player Jamie Moyer is his son-in-law. He is an analyst on College GameNight.(1)

Phelps began his coaching career in 1963 as a graduate assistant at Rider College (now Rider University), where he had played basketball. During the 1963-64 season, he was credited with a scouting report that helped the team break NYU's 23-year home court winning streak. After a move to St. Gabriel's High School in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, he obtained his first full assistant job in 1966 at the University of Pennsylvania. His first head coaching job came in 1970 at Fordham University. After leading the Fordham Rams to a 26-3 record in the 1970-71 season, he was named head coach at the University of Notre Dame.

During his 20 seasons at Notre Dame (1971-91), his teams went 393-197, with 14 seasons of 20 wins or more. In 1978, Notre Dame made its only Final Four to date. His most-remembered game was on 19 January 1974, when the Fighting Irish scored the last 12 points of the game to defeat top-ranked UCLA 71-70, ending the Bruins' record 88-game winning streak. He shares the NCAA record for most upsets over a #1 team at seven (Gary Williams also has 7).

After Notre Dame

After retiring from coaching, he briefly worked for the Office of National Drug Control Policy and also served as an observer in the 1993 elections in Cambodia. Also in 1993, he began a broadcasting career. Starting in that year, he announced color commentary for that year's NCAA tournament for CBS. He joined ESPN the next season.

Phelps also is a great fan of opera. The well-rounded former coach made a cameo appearance in the Notre Dame student opera performance of Offenbach's "Orpheus in the Underworld". Phelps played the part of Baccus, the God of Wine, in two performances in April of 2006.

Phelps also released a biography in 2007, entitled "Undertaker's Son: Life Lessons from a Coach." Phelps co-wrote the book with Jack Colwell, and the book details Phelps' upbringing, professional success, life principles and even lists his "Top 20" songs of all-time.

Personal Life

Phelps resides in South Bend and has three adult children. His oldest, Karen, is married to baseball pitcher Jamie Moyer. Digger is also a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He also was known as "Chesshead" in high school because of his exceptional skills in chess.


^ 1 Copyright © 1008 Brian Phelps. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".