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Notre Dame football takes training camp on the road

Brian Kelly

Brian Kelly

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Updated: August 27, 2013 6:28AM

The 65-acre Shiloh Park in Marion, Ind., has a challenge course with climbing walls and a zip line.

And in a few days, it will be the training site for one of the participants in last season’s Bowl Championship Series title game.

Notre Dame will go on the road and open its 2013 training camp Aug. 5 at Shiloh Park and Convention Center.

“We wanted to take our players off campus. They obviously have the entire summer here. We have great facilities, so it’s difficult to take them away from the great facilities we have here at Notre Dame, but it’s an opportunity for us to start 2013 anew,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said in a video posted on the school’s website on Thursday.

Notre Dame will hold four practices at Shiloh Park. The team will transition back to South Bend for practices at LaBar Football Practice Fields on Aug. 9.

“It’s never been done here before, since I’ve been here. We wanted to change things up and it gives us a great opportunity to be closer to our players,” Kelly said.

It is the first time Notre Dame will open practice away from South Bend since the mid-1990s.

The move isn’t entirely new to Kelly.

“We instituted a similar type off-site program for training camp at the University of Cincinnati,” Kelly said, “and it played a huge role in the success of our team.”

Marion is about 100 miles southeast of South Bend.

“We wanted to make sure that even though we were going to go off campus that we had, first of all, a very good practice field,” Kelly said. “They’ve taken the time over the last couple of years. This is something that we’ve been talking about for a couple of years now. (Facilities manager) Dan Brazo has helped out here at Notre Dame in assisting putting together two very good fields for us.

“… Accommodations, food service, and really some team-building exercises there that we can spend some time with. All those pieces came together. We’re not going to be there a long time, but I think it’s going to be a really good period of time so we can team-build with this group.”

Kelly said it’s another chance for leaders to emerge.

“This gives us another opportunity to build leadership,” Kelly said, “to make sure our kids understand that camaraderie, pulling together is why we’ve had success here.”

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