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Chicago State parts ways with former Bears, Notre Dame DT Chris Zorich

Zorich had been Chicago State’s athletic director since May 2018.

Former Bears and Notre Dame defensive tackle Chris Zorich is no longer employed by Chicago State.
Michael R. Schmidt/For Sun-Times Media

Chicago State and former Bears and Notre Dame star Chris Zorich have parted ways, the university said in a statement Tuesday.

It wasn’t clear if Zorich, who was hired as Chicago State’s athletic director last May, was fired or he resigned.

Jimell Byrd-Reno, a member of Chicago State’s cabinet, will serve as athletic director on an interim basis, the university said.

During his 14-month tenure at Chicago State, Zorich, who is from Chicago and was a standout defensive tackle on Notre Dame’s 1988 national championship team, made two critical hires within the athletic department. He announced last August that Lance Irvin would serve as the men’s basketball coach, and Misty Opat would be the women’s basketball coach.

Both teams struggled in their first season under a new regime. The men’s team went a dismal 3-28 last season, and the women’s team finished 2-28.

“We appreciate the work Mr. Zorich has done for the University and wish him all the best in his future endeavors,” the university statement said.

Zorich played for the Bears from 1991-96. After his playing career, Zorich ran into financial trouble and was sentenced in 2013 to three years of probation following a federal tax evasion conviction.