Meet Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger – Motivational Speaker

Daniel was born on August 23, 1948, in Joliet, Illinois. Despite struggling academically due to dyslexia, Ruettiger pursued his passion for football, inspired by his high school coach Gordie Gillespie at Joliet Catholic High School.

After a brief stint in the United States Navy and working in a power plant, Ruettiger applied to Notre Dame multiple times, facing rejection due to his low grades. Undeterred, he enrolled at Holy Cross College before finally gaining acceptance to Notre Dame in 1974. It was during his time at Holy Cross that Ruettiger discovered he had dyslexia, a revelation that would later shape his life’s journey.

Standing at just 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing 165 pounds, Ruettiger defied the odds to fulfill his dream of playing for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team. Despite his small stature, he earned a place on the scout team through perseverance and financial support from his father.

Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger carved his name into history books as perhaps the most inspiring graduate of the University of Notre Dame. As fans cheered “RU-DY!, RU-DY!,” (which is now considered to be the underdog chant of a lifetime) this “five-foot nothin’, a hundred and nothin’… without a speck of athletic ability”, sacked the quarterback in the last 27 seconds of the only game of his college football career. He is the first player in the school’s history to be carried off the field on the shoulders of his teammates. 

As the son of an oil refinery worker and third of 14 children, Rudy rose from valleys of discouragement and despair to the pinnacles of success. It took years of fierce determination to overcome obstacles and criticisms, yet Rudy achieved his first dream to attend Notre Dame and play football for the Fighting Irish. 

Today, Rudy Ruettiger is an Emmy Award Winning Motivational Keynote Speaker, author, and producer with over 25 years of Experience speaking to Corporations, Universities, Sports Teams, and Special Events. His captivating personality and powerful message of “NEVER QUIT” and “YES I CAN” comes from his personal experience of adversity and triumph and lasts a lifetime. Time and time again, Rudy’s appearances receive thunderous applause and standing ovations as he inspires groups of 200 to 20,000 around the world. 


At the Junior Golf Growth Conference, guest speakers will cover a wide array of topics designed to help develop the skills necessary to become a champion both on and off the course. From mental toughness to physical fitness, from goal setting to business savviness, this conference will provide a junior with everything they need to succeed for many years after your junior golf days. Young athletes will have the unique opportunity to interact with the industry’s best in business, mental health, college golf experts, fitness and nutrition, social media marketing, celebrities, and much more.

For more information or to claim your group’s tickets, visit and take advantage of our early bird discount before time runs out! Early Bird pricing is available until March 31st, so secure your spot today!


The Hurricane Tour annual membership is the best value in junior golf! Whether you are brand new to competitive junior golf or a seasoned veteran hoping to impress college coaches, HJGT’s exclusive membership will enhance your tour experience.