QB | Senior | University of Notre Dame
Huarte won Notre Dame’s sixth Heisman while leading the Irish to a turnaround 9-1 record in 1964.
Born and raised in Orange County, California, Huarte was a star quarterback at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, from which he graduated in 1961.
He chose to attend Notre Dame, but barely registered on the radar for the Irish in his first two seasons, attempting just 50 total passes in two seasons as Notre Dame went a combined 7-12.
But Huarte took over the starting job as a 1964 senior and enjoyed a magical year. He threw for 2,062 yards and 16 touchdowns and ranked third nationally in total offense as the Irish finished 9-1 and fell just short of the national title (a late, last-minute loss to USC spoiled that prospect). Until that year a Notre Dame quarterback had never completed 100 passes in a season, but Huarte had 114 completions. His passing yardage total easily passed the previous Irish season record of 1,374 by Bob Williams in 1949. Huarte also ran for three other TDs in 1964. Huarte’s career passing efficiency rating of 144.7 at Notre Dame still ranks among the best in the Irish record books.
Besides winning the Heisman, Huarte was named the United Press International player of the year and a consensus first-team All-American.
A second-round draft selection of the New York Jets, Huarte played with Boston, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Kansas City and Chicago, as well as the Memphis World Football League. He retired in 1975.
Once out of football Huarte began his own highly-successful tile business, Arizona Tile, that specialized in tile, marble and granite countertops and became the largest importer of granite in North America.
His collegiate career earned him selection in 2005 to the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame.