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Former Notre Dame Running Back Dies At 74

December 11, 1995

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Jerry Cowhig, a running back on the 1946 Notre Dame football team that snapped Army’s 25-game winning streak, has died. He was 74.

Cowhig died of natural causes Dec. 6 at his suburban Van Nuys home, his niece, Norine Cowhig McWhorter, said Sunday.

Cowhig played at Notre Dame from 1942-46 under coach Frank Leahy.

He was named captain of the Fighting Irish team that played Army to a 0-0 tie in front of 74,000 fans at Yankee Stadium on Nov. 9, 1946.

The tie ended Army’s 25-game winning streak and ruined the Cadets’ chances for a third straight national title. At the time, there had been only 10 longer winning streaks in college football history.

Cowhig went on to play in the National Football League with the Los Angeles Rams from 1947-49, the former Chicago Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers.

He retired in 1952 and spent the next 32 years as a sales manager for a Los Angeles freight company.

``This was a really, really neat fella,″ said McWhorter of Anchorage, Alaska. ``I know he had lots of friends around the country who will want to know of his passing.″

A Dorchester, Mass., native, Cowhig interrupted his college studies to fight in World War II in France. He returned to Notre Dame in 1946 and graduated the following year.

He is survived by a son, Gerry W. Cowhig of Los Angeles; a sister, Margaret Mary Cowhig, and a brother, Edward D. Cowhig, both of Boston.

His wife, Jean Willes, died in 1989. The couple was introduced by actress Jane Russell, who was married to a teammate of Cowhig’s on the Rams, McWhorter said.

Funeral services are Tuesday at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church in Van Nuys.

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