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Elmer Layden


Elmer Francis Layden

Inducted 1951

Date of Birth



Davenport, IA


University of Notre Dame (1922-1924)


It was New Year's Day, 1925, at the Rose Bowl, and the final contest for Notre Dame's famed Four Horsemen. The opponent, Stanford, was ready for an Irish offensive punch which had been headlined across the nation. Instead, it was the defensive prowess of Elmer Layden which buried Stanford, 27-10. Layden, the heaviest of the Four Horsemen at 162 pounds, scored first on a three-yard run before turning a pair of interceptions into touchdowns of 78 and 60 yards. He had tallied three of four Irish touchdowns to provide a final triumph in a perfect ten-game season which brought Notre Dame its first undisputed national championship. Layden was the leading Irish pass-interceptor that season, but his unique running style was equally uncanny. "He developed a straight-line dive that made him one of the most unusual halfbacks in football", praised coach Knute Rockne. The Irish posted a combined record of 27-2-1 during Layden's varsity career. He later served as Irish head coach from 1934 to 1940, compiling a record of 47-13-3 before leaving to become Commissioner of the National Football League for six seasons.


Height 6'0"

Weight 162

Career Highlights

  • 1924 Consensus All-America
  • 1923 First Team All-America
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