Ara Parseghian, who returned the Notre Dame football program to national prominence in the 1960s and '70s, died Wednesday. He was 94.

Before Parseghian arrived in 1964, Notre Dame struggled through five consecutive seasons without a winning record. The 1963 team won just two games.

Parseghian's impact was immediate. The Fighting Irish won their first nine games during his initial campaign, and only a 20-17 loss to archrival USC in the season finale prevented them from winning a national championship. His quarterback that year, John Huarte, won the Heisman Trophy.

Over the decade that followed, the Era of Ara would secure a privileged place in the storied history of Notre Dame football. Parseghian led the Irish to national championships in 1966 and 1973, joining Frank Leahy (four) and Knute Rockne (three) as the only coaches in school history to win multiple titles. Notre Dame's epic 24-23 victory over Paul "Bear" Bryant's top-ranked Alabama team -- the so-called "Game of the Century" -- in the 1973 Sugar Bowl capped a perfect 11-0 season and is considered the high point of Parseghian's career.

``I don't think I was a miracle man,'' Parseghian said in 2001. ``Neither were Lou Holtz or Frank Leahy. We all found ways to win.''