Lou Holtz: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lou Holtz
Lou Holtz in July 2007
Sport Football
Born January 6, 1937 (1937-01-06) (age 73)
Place of birth Follansbee, West Virginia
Career highlights
Overall NCAA: 249-132-7
(8th All-Time Division I-A by victories)
NFL: 3-10
Bowls 12-8-2
Coaching stats
College Football DataWarehouse
1988 National Championship
1972 ACC Coach of the Year
1977 National Coach of the Year
1988 Paul "Bear" Bryant Award
2000 SEC Coach of the Year
Playing career
1956-57 Kent State
Position Linebacker
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
William & Mary
N. Carolina St.
New York Jets - NFL
Notre Dame
South Carolina
College Football Hall of Fame, 2008 (Bio)

Louis Leo "Lou" Holtz (born January 6, 1937), An author and motivational speaker, is the only coach in NCAA history to lead six different programs to bowl games and the only coach to guide four different programs to the final top 20 rankings. He is also a multiple winner of National Coach of the Year honors. Over the years, the slender, bespectacled Holtz has become known for his quick wit and ability to inspire players. In 2005, Holtz joined ESPN as a college football analyst. On May 1, 2008, Holtz was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.[1]


Early life and coaching career

Holtz was born in Follansbee, West Virginia. After growing up in East Liverpool, Ohio and graduating from East Liverpool High School, Holtz attended Kent State University. He was a member of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity, played college football as an undersized linebacker, and graduated in 1959. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant in 1960, at Iowa, where he received his Master's degree.[2] From there, he made stops as an assistant at William & Mary (1961–63), Connecticut (1964–65), South Carolina (1966–67) and Ohio State (1968). The Ohio State Buckeyes won the national championship during Holtz's last season with the team.

William & Mary

Holtz's first job as head coach came in 1969, at The College of William & Mary, who played in the Southern Conference at the time. In 1970, he led the William & Mary Indians (now Tribe) to the Southern Conference title and played in the Tangerine Bowl.[3] Since Holtz's tenure there, The College of William & Mary has changed to NCAA Division I-AA.

North Carolina State

In 1972, Holtz moved to North Carolina State and had a 31–11–2 record in four seasons. His Wolfpack teams played in four bowl games, going 2-1-1.[3] Holtz received offers to become the Tulane head coach. He at first accepted the offer from David Dixon, the New Orleans Saints founder, then Holtz called Dixon saying he couldn't come to Tulane.[citation needed]

New York Jets

Holtz's lone foray into the professional ranks consisted of one season with the New York Jets in 1976. He resigned with one game remaining in the season after going 3–10.[2]


Holtz went to the University of Arkansas in 1977. In his seven years there, the Razorbacks compiled a 60–21–2 record and reached six bowl games. In his first season at Arkansas, he led them to a berth in the Orange Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners, then coached by University of Arkansas alumnus Barry Switzer.[3] The Sooners were in position to win their third national championship in four seasons, after top-ranked Texas lost earlier in the day to fifth-ranked Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl Classic. Holtz had suspended his team's top two running backs for the Orange Bowl, for disciplinary reasons. However, behind 205 yards rushing from reserve running back Roland Sales, the Hogs defeated the Sooners, 31–6.[4] Holtz was widely considered to be the leading candidate to replace Woody Hayes at Ohio State in 1979, but Holtz did not pursue the job because he did not want to follow Hayes.[5][6]

Holtz was dismissed following a 6–5 campaign in 1983. At the time, Athletic Director Frank Broyles stated that Holtz had resigned because he was "tired and burned out", and was not fired. [7] Broyles testified 20 years later that he had fired Holtz because he was losing the fan base with things he said and did.[8] Holtz confirmed that he had been fired, but that Broyles never gave him a reason,[9] although reports suggested it may have been due to controversy over his having taped two television advertisements from his coach's office endorsing the re-election of Jesse Helms as Senator from North Carolina.[10]


Holtz accepted the head coach job at the University of Minnesota before the 1984 season. The Golden Gophers had won only four games in the previous two seasons, but had a winning record in 1985 and were invited to the Independence Bowl, where they defeated Clemson, 20–13. Holtz did not coach the Golden Gophers in that bowl game, as he had already accepted the head coaching position at Notre Dame.[3] His contract included a "Notre Dame clause" that allowed him to leave if that coaching job were to become available. [11]Years later, the NCAA placed Minnesota on two years probation for 17 rule violations, two of which were committed by Holtz during his tenure.[12]

Notre Dame

In 1986, Holtz left Minnesota to take over the then-struggling Notre Dame Fighting Irish football program. A taskmaster and strict disciplinarian, Holtz had the names removed from the backs of the players' jerseys when he took over at Notre Dame, wanting to emphasize team effort. Except for the 1988 Cotton Bowl Classic against Texas A&M and the 2008 Hawaii Bowl, names have not been included on Notre Dame's team jerseys ever since. Although his 1986 squad posted an identical 5–6 mark that the 1985 edition had, five of their six losses were by a combined total of 14 points.[13] In the season finale against the archrival USC Trojans, Notre Dame overcame a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit and pulled out a 38-37 win over the stunned USC team.[13]

In his second season, Holtz led the Fighting Irish to an appearance in the Cotton Bowl Classic, where the Irish lost to the Texas A&M Aggies, 35–10.[13] The following year, Notre Dame won all eleven of their regular season games and defeated the third-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers, 34-21, in the Fiesta Bowl, claiming the NCAA Division I FBS National Football Championship. The 1989 squad also won their first eleven games (and in the process set a school record with a 23-game winning streak[13]) and remained in the #1 spot all season until losing to Miami in the season finale. A 21–6 win over Colorado in the Orange Bowl gave the Irish a second-place ranking in the final standings, as well as back-to-back 12-win seasons for the first time in school history.

Holtz's 1993 Irish team ended the season with an 11–1 record and ranked second in the final AP poll. Although the Florida State Seminoles were defeated by the Irish in a battle of unbeatens during the regular season and both teams had only 1 loss at season's end (Notre Dame lost to seventeenth-ranked Boston College), FSU was then voted national champion in the final 1993 AP and Coaches poll. Between 1988 and 1993, Holtz's teams posted an overall 64–9–1 record.[13] He also took the Irish to bowl games for nine consecutive seasons, still a Notre Dame record.[13]

Following an investigation in 1999, the NCAA placed Notre Dame on two-years probation for extra benefits provided by a representative of the university to football players and one instance of academic fraud. The NCAA found that Holtz and members of his staff learned of the violations but failed to make appropriate inquiry or to take prompt action, finding Holtz's efforts "inadequate".[14][15]

On September 13, 2008 Lou Holtz was invited back to the campus where a statue of the former coach was unveiled. The ceremony took place during the weekend of the Notre Dame/Michigan game, almost twenty-two years to the day when Holtz coached his first Notre Dame team against the Wolverines.

First retirement

Lou Holtz left Notre Dame after the 1996 season and walked away from a lifetime contract for undisclosed reasons.[citation needed] When pressed, all he would say was, "It was the right thing to do." He was succeeded by defensive coordinator Bob Davie.

In 1996, two members of the Minnesota Vikings's ownership board, Wheelock Whitney and Jaye Dyer, reportedly contacted Holtz. They wanted to bring him in to replace Dennis Green.[16] Of the rumors surrounding the reasons for Holtz's retirement, one of them was the possible Vikings head coaching position.[17]

South Carolina

After two seasons as a commentator for CBS Sports, Holtz came out of retirement in 1999 and returned to the University of South Carolina, where he had been an assistant in the 1960s. The year before Holtz arrived, the Gamecocks went 1–10, and the team subsequently went 0-11 during Holtz's first season. In his second season, South Carolina went 8–4, winning the Outback Bowl over the heavily-favored Ohio State Buckeyes. The eight-game improvement from the previous year was the best in the nation in 2000 and the third best single-season turnaround in NCAA history.[18] It also earned National Coach of the Year honors for Holtz from Football News and American Football Coaches Quarterly. In his third season, Holtz's success continued, leading the Gamecocks to a 9-3 record and another Outback Bowl victory over Ohio State. The nine wins for the season were the second highest total in the history of the program. Under Holtz's leadership, the Gamecocks posted their best two-year mark in school history from 2000-2001, going 17-7 overall and 10-6 in SEC play.[3]

After consecutive 5-7 campaigns in 2002 and 2003, Holtz finished his South Carolina tenure on a winning note (6-5 record) in 2004. Holtz's time in Columbia saw the resurrection of Gamecock Football, as the program had only one bowl appearance and no Top 25 finishes in the ten years before his hire. Upon his exit, South Carolina had posted AP Top 25 finishes in 2000 and 2001 (#19 and #13 respectively) and had made consecutive New Year's Day bowls for the first time in its history.

In 2005, the NCAA imposed three years probation and reductions in two scholarships on the program for 10 admitted violations under Holtz, five of which were found to be major. The violations involved improper tutoring and off-season workouts, as well as a lack of institutional control. No games were forfeited, and no television or postseason ban was imposed. Holtz issued a statement after the sanctions were announced stating, "There was no money involved. No athletes were paid. There were no recruiting inducements. No cars. No jobs offered. No ticket scandal."[19][20]

Second retirement

On November 18, 2004, Holtz announced that he would retire at the end of the season. On November 21, 2004, the South Carolina-Clemson brawl took place during Holtz's last regular season game.[21] Instead of ending his career at a post-season bowl game, which was expected, the two universities announced that each would penalize their respective football programs for their unsportsmanlike conduct by declining any bowl game invitations.[21] At his last press conference as South Carolina's coach, Holtz said it was ironic that he and former Ohio State coach Woody Hayes both would be remembered for "getting into a fight at the Clemson game". Holtz also alluded to his assistance in recruiting his successor, Steve Spurrier.[21] Despite Holtz's success in turning the program around, some sportwriters have suggested that these accomplishments were overshadowed by his overall losing record and his history of NCAA infractions during his tenure.[22] Thus, Holtz's legacy at South Carolina is a mixed one that continues to be debated by fans and journalists alike.

Louis Holtz currently resides in Edina, MN, with his best friends Tom Gathje and George Boosalis, and his two pet penguins Ryan & Kevin.


Holtz has written and contributed to over ten books:

  • Holtz, Lou (1974). The Grass Is Greener. [The author]. OCLC 41773996. 
  • Holtz, Lou; Dugan, Donald (1978). Holtz' Quotes. [s.l: s.n.]. OCLC 4468721. 
  • Holtz, Lou (1978). The Offensive Side of Lou Holtz. [s.l: s.n.]. OCLC 4851306. 
  • Holtz, Lou (1980). The Kitchen Quarterback. Little Rock, Arkansas: Parkin Prtng. Co. OCLC 6714133. 
  • Holtz, Lou; Heisler, John (1989). The Fighting Spirit: A Championship Season at Notre Dame. New York: Pocket Books. ISBN 9780671676735. OCLC 20180739. 
  • Holtz, Lou (1998). Winning Every Day: The Game Plan for Success. New York: HarperBusiness. ISBN 9780887309045. OCLC 39451210. 
  • Holtz, Lou; Carpenter, Monte (2002). Quotable Lou: The Wit, Wisdom, and Inspiration of Lou Holtz, College Football's Most Colorful and Engaging Coach. Nashville, Tenn: TowleHouse Pub. ISBN 9781931249188. OCLC 49942729. 
  • Holtz, Lou (2002). A Teen's Game Plan for Life. Notre Dame, Ind: Sorin Books. ISBN 9781893732537. OCLC 49519284. 
  • Alvarez, Barry; Lucas, Mike; Holtz, Lou; Patterson, James (2006). Don't Flinch: Barry Alvarez, the Autobiography : the Story of Wisconsin's All-Time Winningest Coach. Champaign, IL: KCI Sports Ventures. ISBN 9780975876978. OCLC 71325993. 
  • Holtz, Lou (2006). Wins, Losses, and Lessons: An Autobiography. New York: Wm. Morrow. ISBN 9780060840808. OCLC 65165505. 

Broadcasting career

Holtz has worked for CBS Sports as a college football analyst and currently works in the same capacity for the cable network ESPN. He works on the secondary studio team, located in Bristol as opposed to the game site. He typically appears on pregame, halftime, and postgame shows of college football games. In addition, he appears on College Football Scoreboard, College Football Final, College Football Live, SportsCenter, and the occasional game. He typically partners with Rece Davis and Mark May. Holtz came under scrutiny after referencing Adolf Hitler in an on-air comment while appearing on College Football Live in 2008.[23][24] In his analysis of Michigan Wolverines head coach Rich Rodriguez, Holtz stated, "Ya know, Hitler was a great leader, too." The next day, Holtz apologized for the comment during halftime of a game between Clemson and Georgia Tech.[25]

Personal life

Holtz married the former Beth Barcus on July 22, 1961. They are parents of four children, three of whom are Notre Dame graduates. Their eldest son, Skip, is currently head football coach at The University of South Florida. Holtz is on the Catholic Advisory Board of the Ave Maria Mutual Funds, and gives motivational speeches. Coach Holtz is a member at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. He is an advocate for people with speech impediments and donates his time to children who suffer from such disorders.

Holtz has long been active in Republican Party politics, including his support for Helms, hosting Vice President Dan Quayle in a 1999 fundraising tour,[26] speaking at a 2007 House Republicans strategy meeting [27] and considering entering the Republican primary for a Congressional seat in Florida in 2009.[28] He often appears on Hannity on the Fox News Channel.

Collegiate coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl Rank#
William & Mary (Southern Conference) (1969–1971)
1969 William & Mary 3-7 2-2 4th
1970 William & Mary 5-7 3-1 1st L 12-40 (Toledo) Tangerine Bowl
1971 William & Mary 5-6 4-1 2nd
William & Mary: 13-20 9-4
North Carolina State (Atlantic Coast Conference) (1972–1975)
1972 North Carolina State 8-3-1 4-1-1 2nd W 49-13 (WVU) Peach Bowl
1973 North Carolina State 9-3 6-0 1st W 31-18 (Kansas) Liberty Bowl
1974 North Carolina State 9-2-1 4-2 2nd T 31-31 (Houston) Bluebonnet Bowl 9
1975 North Carolina State 7-4-1 2-2-1 4th L 10-13 (WVU) Peach Bowl
North Carolina State: 33-12-3 16-5-2
Arkansas (Southwest Conference) (1977–1983)
1977 Arkansas 11-1 7-1 2nd W 31-6 (Okla) Orange Bowl 3
1978 Arkansas 9-2-1 6-2 2nd T 10-10 (UCLA) Fiesta Bowl 10
1979 Arkansas 10-2 7-1 T-1st L 24-9 (Alabama) Sugar Bowl 9
1980 Arkansas 7-5 3-5 6 th W 34-14 (Tulane) Hall of Fame Classic
1981 Arkansas 8-4 5-3 4th L 27-31 (UNC) Gator Bowl 16
1982 Arkansas 9-2-1 5-2-1 3rd W 28-24 (UF) Bluebonnet Bowl 8
1983 Arkansas 6-5 4-4 5th
Arkansas: 60-21-2 37-18-1
Minnesota (Big Ten Conference) (1984–1985)
1984 Minnesota 4-7 3-6 8th
1985 Minnesota 6-5 4-4 6th W 20-13 (Clemson) Independence Bowl
Minnesota: 10-12 7-10
Notre Dame (Independent) (1986–1996)
1986 Notre Dame 5-6
1987 Notre Dame 8-4 L 10-35 (TAMU) Cotton Bowl Classic
1988 Notre Dame 12-0 W 34-21 (WVU) Fiesta Bowl 1
1989 Notre Dame 12-1 W 21-6 (CU) Orange Bowl 2
1990 Notre Dame 9-3 L 9-10 (CU) Orange Bowl 6
1991 Notre Dame 10-3 W 39-28 (UF) Sugar Bowl 12
1992 Notre Dame 10-1-1 W 28-3 (TAMU) Cotton Bowl Classic 3
1993 Notre Dame 11-1 W 24-21 (TAMU) Cotton Bowl Classic 2
1994 Notre Dame 6-5-1 L 24-41 (CU) Fiesta Bowl
1995 Notre Dame 9-3 L 26-31 (FSU) Orange Bowl 13
1996 Notre Dame 8-3 21
Notre Dame: 100-30-2
South Carolina (Southeastern Conference) (1999–2004)
1999 South Carolina 0-11 0-8 6th (East)
2000 South Carolina 8-4 5-3 2nd (East) W 24-7 (OSU) Outback Bowl 21
2001 South Carolina 9-3 5-3 3rd (East) W 31-28 (OSU) Outback Bowl 13
2002 South Carolina 5-7 3-5 4th (East)
2003 South Carolina 5-7 2-6 4th (East)
2004 South Carolina 6-5 4-4 3rd (East)
South Carolina: 33-37 19-29
Total: 249-132-7
      National Championship         Conference Title         Conference Division Title
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.


See also


  1. ^ "Aikman, Cannon, Holtz head for College Football Hall of Fame". 2008-05-01. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/football/ncaa/05/01/cfb.hall.ap/index.html. 
  2. ^ a b "Biography: Lou Holtz". real-life-training-films.com. https://www.real-life-training-films.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=49&Itemid=54. Retrieved 2009-12-01. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Player Bio: Lou Holtz". CSTV. http://gamecocksonline.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/holtz_lou00.html. Retrieved 2009-12-01. 
  4. ^ "Biography - Lou Holtz". hickoksports.com. http://www.hickoksports.com/biograph/holtzlou.shtml. Retrieved 2009-12-01. 
  5. ^ Kindred, Dave "Eerie feeling engulfs the visitors", Toledo Blade (January 2, 1979) p.25
  6. ^ Hannen, John "Bruce credentials right for Buckeyes", Toledo Blade (January 14, 1979) p D3
  7. ^ "Tired, burned out Holtz quits as Arkansas coach" Associated Press ((December 19,1983)
  8. ^ Pils, Douglas, "Broyles gives his side of Richardson firing", USA Today (May 7, 2004)
  9. ^ "Holtz will bring his wisdom to Syracuse: Former coach speaks about his football experience", Syracuse Post-Standard (October 22, 2006)
  10. ^ "Sports people: No politics for Holtz", New York Times (December 24, 1983)
  11. ^ Nadel, Mike, "Is Lou Holtz next for Notre Dame?" Evening Independent (November 27, 1985) p 1C
  12. ^ "Minnesota Is Placed On 2-Year Probation". New York Times. 1991-03-28. http://www.nytimes.com/1991/03/28/sports/college-basketball-minnesota-is-placed-on-2-year-probation.html. Retrieved 2009-12-01. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f "2007 Notre Dame Media Guide: History and Records (pages 131-175)". und.cstv.com. http://und.cstv.com/auto_pdf/p_hotos/s_chools/nd/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/07fbguidehistory. Retrieved 2008-07-10. 
  14. ^ "Tarnished Dome; Notre Dame placed on 2 year's probation" Sports Illustrated (December 18, 1999)
  15. ^ PHRASE WILL NOT BE REPEATED "University of Notre Dame Public Infractions Report" NCAA (December 17, 1999
  16. ^ Vikings' owners divided on Holtz. Ron Lesko. Associated Press. November 19, 1996. copy hosted on southcoasttoday.com
  17. ^ VIKINGS' GREEN SAYS HIS TEAM'S IN HUNT Lee Shappell. Arizona Republic
  18. ^ NCAA football records, p. 68.
  19. ^ "Gamecocks admit 5 major infractions under Holtz" Associated Press (November 16, 2005)
  20. ^ "Three years of probation for South Carolina", USA Today (August 24, 2005)
  21. ^ a b c Thamel, Pete (2004-11-23). "Holtz Goes; Brawlers Won't Play On in Bowls". nytimes.com. http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/23/sports/ncaafootball/23football.html?_r=1&oref=slogin. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  22. ^ Morris, Ron, "Still time on the clock for Spurrier", The (Columbia) State (November 10, 2009)
  23. ^ "Dr. Lou Holtz Drops a Hitler Reference, Continues to Make No Sense". SportingNews.com>. http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/the_sporting_blog/entry/view/13710/dr._lou_holtz_drops_a_hitler_reference,_continues_to_make_no_sense. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  24. ^ "Lou Holtz Might Be Taking Some Time Off". Deadspin.com. http://deadspin.com/5065391/lou-holtz-might-be-taking-some-time-off. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  25. ^ "Lou Holtz sorry for Hitler line". NYDailyNews.com. http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/college/2008/10/18/2008-10-18_lou_holtz_sorry_for_hitler_line.html. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  26. ^ Ayers, B Drummond Jr, "Political briefing: Funny things happen to Quayle in Dixie" New York Times (June 18, 1999)
  27. ^ Hulse, Carl, "At lawmakers' retreat, pep talks address concerns of the new G.O.P. minority", New York Times" (January 27, 2007)
  28. ^ "Holtz considering run for Congress" Associated Press (August 4, 2009)
  29. ^ "Lou Holtz Records By Year". cfbdatawarehouse.com. http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/coaching/alltime_coach_year_by_year.php?coachid=1103. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Lou Holtz (born January 6, 1937, in Follansbee, West Virginia) is a former NCAA football head coach, and is currently an author and a motivational speaker who has spoken to the likes of Fortune 500 companies on topics such as the importance of teamwork and goal setting.



  • When all is said and done, usually more is said than done.
  • Don't tell your problems to people: eighty percent don't care, and the other twenty percent are glad you have them.
  • Lou Holtz was coaching Arkansas and the Razorbacks were winning a game that promised a trip to the Orange Bowl, and the students started throwing oranges on the field. Afterward they asked Holtz what he thought about it. "Thank God we're not going to the Gator Bowl," he said.
  • He who complains about how the ball bounces is likely the one who dropped it.
  • You never get ahead of anyone as long as you try to get even with him. If you burn your neighbor's house down, it doesn't make your place look better.
  • Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.
  • Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
  • I can't believe that God put us on this earth to be ordinary.
  • Holtz's first head coaching job was at The College of William and Mary. The press asked him why he thought they lost a game. "We had too many Marys and not enough Williams."
  • It doesn't matter what type of defense you call, take your eleven meanest guys, put them on the field and say 'sic em!'.
  • Behind every successful person, stands a very successful mother-in-law.
  • The good lord put eyes in front of your head rather than in back so you can see where you're going rather than where you've been.
  • If you want to know something, don't ask the monkey, ask the organ grinder.
  • I can't explain why a bride buys her wedding dress, whereas a groom rents his tux.
  • The only thing that separates anger from danger is the letter 'd'. Anger will lead to danger.
  • The freedom to swing your fist ends where the other guy's nose begins.

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