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The University of Notre Dame and University of Arizona will begin an annual series between their rugby teams this spring, playing for the Ara Parseghian challenge trophy.
Parseghian was a successful football player at Miami University (Ohio) and later the Cleveland Browns in the 1940s. He later became coach at Miami, Northwestern, and finally Notre Dame, where he was Head Coach from 1964 to 1974.
Parseghian's connection to Arizona is more centered around his family's unhappy medical history.
Three of Parseghian's grandchildren - three of the four children of Mike and Cindy Parseghian - died from Niemann-Pick disease Type C (NP-C), a genetic, pediatric, neurodegenerative disorder responsible for the build-up of cholesterol in cells, resulting in eventual damage to the nervous system. The Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation was founded in Tucson, Ariz. to work toward a treatment for this disease.
The Notre Dame v Arizona game will raise money for the Ara Parseghian
Medical Research Foundation.