It was also the college stomping grounds of former San Francisco 49ers vice president and director of football operations, John McVay, who collaborated with coaches Bill Walsh and George Seifert, along with owner Eddie DeBartolo, to build one of the NFL's great dynasties.
Hired after the 49ers' 2-14 debacle in 1978, McVay was instrumental in landing Hall of Famer Joe Montana. Walsh had McVay check in with Notre Dame assistant coach Bill Gruden (Jon's father) to determine why Montana had dropped to the third round of the 1979 NFL Draft. Gruden's response was short and sweet: "Just take him."
"I had a lot of different titles," McVay told the Canton Repository in January, "but I functioned as general manager basically from Day 1 until 23 years later when I left."
McVay oversaw a front office that acquired Montana, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, Charles Haley, Roger Craig and John Taylor among others. He's quick to deflect credit, deferring to Walsh as the true genius. But McVay was one of the unsung heroes of the NFL's glory team of the 1980s.