Haley Scott DeMaria

Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame,
Wake up the echoes cheering her name,
Send a volley cheer on high,
Shake down the thunder from the sky.
What though the odds be great or small
Old Notre Dame will win over all,
While her loyal sons are marching
Onward to victory.

Biography Of Haley Scott DeMaria

My story, as told in the book, begins in the early hours of January 24, 1992, but the foundation of the story begins in my childhood, with a family so deeply planted that I was able to fall back on them when my life was uprooted. When all of our lives were uprooted.

I was born Haley Adella Scott on August 4, 1973, in Phoenix, Arizona. I am a native Arizonan. So is my dad.

I had several nicknames growing up, some more telling than others. My grandmother called me Pinny – for P.I.N., “Pain In the Neck.” She loved me dearly, but I was a strong-headed and ferociously independent child. I gave myself my own nickname – which was really just a compilation list of who I wanted to be: Haley Adella Cinderella Fonzarelli Eloise Vandeweghe Scott.

My dad has always called me H.Adella. That one is my favorite.

I have two siblings – a brother, Stephen, who is five years older; and a sister, Mary Frances, who is five years younger. We grew up as normal siblings do: playing together, teasing each other and annoying each other. But there was always a lot of love.

My parents, Stephen Sr. and Charlotte, supported and encouraged us to be our best and do our best. Anything less than trying our best, was unacceptable.

Little did I know when I started swimming competitively at age 10, that I was starting down a road that would alter my life completely. I swam for a USA Swimming club team, for my high school: Xavier College Preparatory, and then finally for the University of Notre Dame. With the exception of my family, there is nothing I am more proud of in life than having been a Notre Dame athlete. I still get chills when I hear the fight song; I still cry when I sing the alma mater.

As a Notre Dame athlete I won several awards, both national and regional, for my recovery and return to swimming: the Spirit of Notre Dame Award, the Executive Journal Comeback of the Year Award (1993), The Honda Award for Inspiration (1993-94), The Gene Autry Courage in Sport Award (1994), among others. I was named Woman of the Year at the National Women’s Leadership Conference in Washington DC (June 1994) and a Fellow at the Institute for International Sport in Rhode Island (June 1995). I have also been the keynote speaker at such gatherings as National Sorority Conference, Rotary Clubs, and a Nurses Appreciation Dinner. At each of these events or ceremonies I had the opportunity to speak about my experience and about my love and appreciation for those who helped me. It is moving, gratifying and inspiring to speak to people about my recovery. It is a gift to pass along hope.

After graduating from Notre Dame, I moved back to Phoenix, Arizona, to teach and coach at Xavier. Working at Xavier was, again, a fulfilling and meaningful experience and nurtured my spiritual journey. It was during this time that I officially joined the Catholic Church. Certainly my time at Notre Dame contributed to this. I lived through a horrible experience while being embraced by – and living in – a Catholic community. That community picked me up, or to borrow a sentiment from the famous story “Footprints,” they carried me when I couldn’t walk. Literally and figuratively. Once I left the safe cocoon of Notre Dame, the Catholic sense of community and faith was reiterated for me at Xavier. Joining the Catholic Church was an easy decision and really just a continuation and formality of the life I was already living.

Currently, I live in Annapolis, Maryland, with my husband Jamie DeMaria (also a Notre Dame alum), and our two sons, James and Edward. We are building our own community here: with friends from our children’s school; at our church, where I teach Sunday School and helped to organize a Small Christian Community of mothers to share our faith; and with the United States Naval Academy, for which we are a sponsor family. Several times a month, our midshipmen come to our home to relax and take a break from the rigors of their college experience. They are some of the finest young people in the country. Similar to the young men and women you will find at Notre Dame.

The irony is not lost on me that the weekend of my first race at Notre Dame in October 1993, Notre Dame played Navy in football; that the game ball Coach Lou Holtz presented to me was from the Notre Dame – Navy game. The history and relationship between the two schools is unique, and the respect between the two schools is unmatched. I am proud to be associated with both institutions. My life has come full circle and my blessed heart continues to beat blue and gold.