SOUTH BEND – Not all athletics careers end in glorious fashion in front of thousands of fans. Some come to a halt in the loneliness of a trainer’s room or doctor’s office in obscurity. Such is the case for Notre Dame defensive lineman Tony Springmann.
The former Bishop Dwenger High School standout endured a knee injury prior to the 2013 season, but a lingering back injury has resulted in his having to retire from the sport before his fourth year with the Irish.
“Unfortunately, Tony has suffered a setback and he is not going to be able to play football for us,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. “He has come back from his knee injury, but his back issue is not going to allow him to continue to play football. So he’ll be a medical (redshirt) situation for us.”
Springmann has been with the program for three years, but ultimately played just one season.
After redshirting his first season, Springmann saw action in 13 games during the 2012 season, which culminated with the Irish playing in the BCS National Championship game. However, he suffered a knee injury during the 2013 training camp and missed all of last season.
“He’ll still stay involved with the program,” Kelly said. “Tony has done a great job of mentoring a lot of younger players in our program. He’s shown great leadership and resolve in coming back from his knee injury.”
Kelly said that Springmann will be travelling with the Irish to Culver Military Academy Monday, as the team opens its 2014 training camp. He closes his collegiate career with 11 tackles.