Michael Stonebreaker latest Notre Dame player selected for College Football Hall of Fame

Mike Berardino
South Bend Tribune
Former ND linebacker Michael Stonebreaker

More than three decades have passed since Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz, asked about his two-time All-America linebacker with the name and the game right out of “The Flintstones,” famously paused a beat and smiled.

“There’s nothing normal,” Holtz said on the eve of the 1990 football season, “about Michael Stonebreaker.”

Monday brought the latest validation of that long-ago assessment as Stonebreaker, five days shy of his 56th birthday, was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame. One of 18 players and four coaches in this year’s class, Stonebreaker will be inducted on Dec. 5 in Las Vegas.

More:'88 champs hold special spot in ND lore

Stonebreaker, who made 220 tackles and five interceptions in three college seasons, joins defensive tackle Chris Zorich (2007 inductee) and wide receiver Raghib “Rocket” Ismail (2019) as members of Notre Dame’s last national championship team in 1988 to be voted into the hall.

Holtz and former Wisconsin coach and athletic director Barry Alvarez, Stonebreaker’s defensive coordinator, are the other ’88 Irish representatives in the hall.

scanned archive photo - ISR Folder

Stonebreaker gives Notre Dame 55 former players or coaches in the College Football Hall of Fame, most of any institution.

A River Ridge, La., native whose late father Steve played seven seasons in the NFL at linebacker, Stonebreaker was a ninth-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears in 1991. The younger Stonebreaker played three seasons in the NFL and finished up in 1995 with the Frankfurt Galaxy of the World League of American Football.

Stonebreaker missed two full seasons due to suspension while at Notre Dame. He sat out the 1987 season for academic reasons and missed the 1989 season after pleading guilty to a charge of driving while intoxicated.

Michigan running back Tony Boles (42) is tackled by Notre Dame linebackers Mike Stonebreaker (top) and Wes Pritchett in 1988.
(Photo: South Bend Tribune archive, South Bend Tribune)

Follow Notre Dame football writer Mike Berardino on Twitter @MikeBerardino.

Notre Dame players and coaches in the College Football Hall of Fame

2023Michael StonebreakerLinebacker
2021Aaron TaylorOffensive Tackle
2019Raghib ‘Rocket’ IsmailWide Receiver
2017Bob CrableLinebacker
2015Tom GatewoodWide Receiver
2012Dave CasperTight End
2009Tim BrownWide Receiver
2008Lou HoltzCoach
2007Chris ZorichDefensive Tackle
2005John HuarteQuarterback
2003Joe TheismannQuarterback
2001Ralph GuglielmiQuarterback
2000Bob DoveEnd
1999Ross BrownerDefensive End
1997Ken MacAfeeTight End
1995Jim MartinTackle
1994Jerry GroomCenter
1993Alan PageDefensive End
1992Jim LynchLinebacker
1990Wayne MillnerEnd
1988Bob WilliamsQuarterback
1987Tom YarrCenter
1985Paul HornungQuarterback
1985Fred MillerTackle
1985Dan DevineCoach
1984Emil SitkoHalfback
1983Bill FischerGuard
1983Bill ShakespeareHalfback
1982Bert MetzgerGuard
1980Ara ParseghianCoach
1979John LattnerHalfback
1978Frank HoffmannGuard
1977Ziggy CzarobskiTackle
1976Creighton MillerHalfback
1975John SmithGuard
1974Marchy SchwartzHalfback
1974Heartley ‘Hunk’ AndersonGuard
1973Leon HartEnd
1972Ray EichenlaubFullback
1972Angelo BertelliQuarterback
1971Louis ‘Red’ SalmonFullback
1971Jesse HarperCoach
1970Frank LeahyCoach
1970Don MillerHalfback
1968Adam WalshCenter
1966Edgar ‘Rip’ MillerTackle
1966Jim CrowleyHalfback
1965John CannonGuard
1963George ConnorTackle
1960John LujackQuarterback
1958Harry StuhldreherQuarterback
1954Frank CarideoQuarterback
1951Knute RockneCoach
1951Elmer LaydenFullback
1951George GippHalfback