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Ex-Notre Dame LB Danny Spond happy to be back in Colorado for game vs. Air Force

Danny Spond who retired during fall camp after suffering from hemiplegic migraines stayed as coach/mentor linebackers. | AP

Danny Spond, who retired during fall camp after suffering from hemiplegic migraines, stayed on as a coach/mentor to the linebackers. | AP

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SATURDAY

NOTRE DAME
AT AIR FORCE

The facts: 4 p.m., CBSSN, 890-AM.

The records: Notre Dame 5-2;
Air Force 1-6.

The line: Notre Dame by 191⁄2.

Updated: November 27, 2013 6:12AM



SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Danny Spond has had Notre Dame’s trip to Air Force circled on the calendar for a long time.

Spond won’t be wearing pads, but he’ll still be aiding the Irish.

“This has been a hallmark game in my mind, even since I was a freshman and the schedule projected us to play in Colorado,” said Spond, who’s from Littleton, Colo. “It’s something I was looking forward to. Playing or coaching, it’s going to be fun to go back to Colorado with Notre Dame.”

Spond started 11 games in 2012 and was slated to start again at outside linebacker this season.

But he retired from football in fall camp after suffering from hemiplegic migraines. Spond has stayed on as a coach/mentor to the linebackers.

“He’s done a great job of handling the transition, which [isn’t easy] for somebody who has played football all his career and now in his senior year has it taken away,’’ coach Brian Kelly said. ‘‘Now that he’s on the other side of it, he’s been great. He’s been upbeat. He’s been positive.’’

Spond is on a regular medicine schedule, and day-to-day, he feels fine now.

“Initially, [the transition] was very difficult, as anyone could imagine,’’ Spond said. ‘‘It was a very emotional time, a very hard time for me and my family. I told myself I had two options in this: I could either give in and let this beat me and let this define me or I could beat it, overcome it.

“The way that I was going to do that was give it all I had for this team. The team gave me so much; this university has given me so much. It was my job to give back any way I could.”

Email: lpope@post-trib.com

Twitter: @lamondpope



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