JANUARY 9, 1978
As a fullback at Notre Dame from 1974 through '77, Terry Eurick was not an All-America, nor did he have a 1,000-yard rushing season. In fact, he ran for a total of 806 yards in his career. But Eurick, one of three captains on the Fighting Irish's 1977 national championship team, had a knack for being in the right place at the right time. A power-running, short-yardage specialist, he scored nine touchdowns over three seasons, and then reached the end zone on two of his four carries in the title-clinching 38-10 thrashing of top-ranked Texas in the '78 Cotton Bowl.
So it was a shot of Eurick, not quarterback Joe Montana or star tailbacks Jerome Heavens and Vagas Ferguson (both of whom had 100-yard games against the Long-horns), that graced SI's cover the following week "When I got back home [to Saginaw, Mich.] that week, my mother said she had heard that I was on the cover," says Eurick, now 47 and a personnel director for General Motors. "I figured I was just in the background."
A few weeks later another shot of Eurick appeared in SI's Year in Pictures issue: Still in uniform after the Cotton Bowl, with blood dripping from a gash on his chin, he stood arm-in-arm with his fianc�e, Margo, and flashed the No. 1 sign for the camera. That moment capped Eurick's athletic career.
After graduating with a degree in economics the following spring, he drew interest from several CFL teams and was invited to camp by the New Orleans Saints. But Margo had started a job in IBM's marketing department in Southfield, Mich., and Eurick decided he'd rather stay close to home than pursue NFL ambitions.
Eurick, who lives in Clarkston, Mich., has been with GM for 25 years, working initially as a labor relations representative in Pontiac and later as a personnel director in Bowling Green, Ky., and Marion, Ind., before moving to the Flint-based offices four years ago. He was active with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program for four years, but the bulk of his free time is devoted to his family—he and Margo have five children, ages three to 16—and watching football. When his oldest son, Kyle, played as a youngster, Terry was one of his coaches. Now Terry volunteers as the P.A. announcer for games at Notre Dame Prep in Pontiac, where Kyle is a junior running back. Last month Eurick returned to South Bend for a captains' reunion before Notre Dame's 29-26 overtime victory over Washington State. A former member of the school's monogram board, he tries to take his family to at least one home game each season.
Eurick receives about 12 autograph requests on copies of his SI cover issue each year. In Michigan, though, he's often recognized for another achievement: In his senior season as a running back at Saginaw Arthur Hill High, he was captain of a team that went 9-0 and unscored upon (433-0) and won the mythical state title. "I get asked about that as much as I do Notre Dame," he says. "I feel very privileged."