George O’Leary was given a chance at his dream and it all crumbled away from him as fast as he saw it. In 2001, Notre Dame named O’Leary its head coach after a successful run at Georgia Tech. However, O’Leary had lied on his resume and he was immediately dismissed. It was an embarrassing and shameful moment for both the school and the coach. It was a moment that neither one will forget.
After coming back in 2002 and coaching the Minnesota Vikings defense, O’Leary found himself back in the college ranks with Central Florida University. In his first season, he lost all of his games. But it took the man only one year to get the Knights on the right course, finishing 2005 with a 8-3 record (7-1 in Conference USA). He’s taken his squad to five bowls in nine years, improved the facilities at the school and raised academic standards. He really has been reborn with this program.
I’m sure that somewhere inside of O’Leary, he wishes things had turned out differently. But it is one of life’s greatest lessons that if you lie about something, people will find out. In his case, his lie was on paper. It could have been the death sentence of his career. But he rebounded and has done well for himself. Don’t forget, he was a huge name in college football with Georgia Tech, so had he decided not to leave the school, none of this would ever have come out. And what makes it even more puzzling was the fact it wasn’t needed. He had the job based on his work.
Regardless of his past, O’Leary has turned Central Florida into one of the nation’s most consistent programs.