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Lawrence "Mike" McNerney

Inducted 2021

Elgin High School Class of 1901


Lawrence “Mike” McNerney, a 1901 graduate of Elgin High School, is inducted into the Elgin Sports Hall of Fame for football, baseball and as a Friend of Sports.  Mike was a standout in three sports at Elgin; he was the captain, quarterback and kicker of the EHS football team recognized as the 1900 “state champions,” which included a 53-5 victory over Oak Park in which he kicked eight successive goals. 

At the University of Notre Dame, McNerney lettered three years in football and baseball.  He was the unanimous selection as captain of the baseball team and was recognized as “one of the most notable Notre Dame figures of the early 1900’s.”  Mike originally played end, then led the football team as the quarterback and the drop kicker.

As a standout second baseman, McNerney played for such legendary semi-professional teams as the Chicago Gunthers, as well as teams in Elgin, Aurora and DeKalb.  He frequently faced major league talent, including the Chicago White Sox and the Leland Giants, against whom he had success against Hall of Fame pitcher Rube Foster.

Locally, Mike was a leader of the Elgin High “E” Club and president of the EHS Booster Club.  He served as coach and assistant football coach in 1912 and 1915.  He coached the western sectional Elgin team in the championship game against Stanford, the eastern sectional champion.  While losing 7-0, eastern papers described the game as “the hardest fought intersectional football battle seen in these parts for many years.”

Mike was appointed chairman of a committee to raise money for a suitable marker for the grave of George Gipp by ND athletic director and Four Horseman member Elmer Layden, was a close friend of Knute Rockne, and was included among 51 “Notre Dame men who deserve monograms for their accomplishments after leaving school as well as their feats in athletics.”