Lou Holtz has established himself as one of the most successful college football coaches of all time.
He is the only coach in the history of college football to: 1) take six different teams to a bowl game, 2) win five bowl games with different teams, and 3) have four different college teams ranked in the final Top 20 poll.
Since his departure from Notre Dame following the 1996 season, he joined CBS Sports' College Football Today for two seasons as a sports analyst and works with United States Filter (a global provider of water treatment) as a customer relations spokesman. From the University of South Carolina for six seasons from 1999-2004 where he led the Gamecocks to back-to-back Jan. 1 bowl games for the first time in the history of the school.
Currently, Holtz serves as a college football studio analyst on ESPN. He appears on ESP NEWS', ESPN College GameDay programs, SportsCenter as well as serving as an on-site analyst for college football games. Holtz also sits on the board of directors for K2, Inc.
For many years Lou Holtz has been considered among the greatest speaking legends in America today. He speaks on overcoming seemingly impossible challenges by setting your own goals and working to achieve them.
When Holtz took over as Notre Dame's 27th head football coach back in November of 1985, he brought with him a well-proven reputation as a fixer of football programs following a series of spectacular repair jobs at William & Mary, North Carolina State, Arkansas and Minnesota.
Twenty-six seasons as a collegiate head coach earned Holtz a sterling reputation for turning pretenders into contenders -- for taking football programs and elevating them a level or two on their way to the Top 20. But nowhere has he done this as impressively as at Notre Dame.
He enhanced that track record quickly, needing only two years to put the Fighting Irish back into a major post-season bowl game for the first time in seven seasons. Holtz proved he could take the Irish back to the ranks of college football's elite and consistently keep them there.
He also has developed a well-earned reputation as an expert when it comes to knocking off highly ranked opponents. That ability has been particularly well displayed in bowl games, with his team recording wins on Jan. 1 in five of the last seven seasons against teams with a combined record of 74-4-1, all of them ranked seventh or higher in the Associated Press poll.
In his 11 seasons at Notre Dame, Holtz chalked up more victories than the number accumulated by Parseghian, Rockne or Leahy in their first 11 years on the job. Including the consensus national championship in 1988, a record 23-game winning streak that ranks as the longest in Notre Dame history. With an overall 100-30-2 mark during those eleven years, his accomplishments nonetheless have positioned him alongside those Fighting Irish coaching legends. When the Fighting Irish met Florida in the 1996 Orange Bowl, it was the ninth straight year Holtz had taken Notre Dame to the traditional January post-season bowls (Cotton Bowl following 1987, 1992 and 1993 campaigns, Fiesta in 1988 and 1994, Orange in 1989, 1990 and 1995, Sugar in 1991).
This is something that no other coach in the country has matched. Holtz has a 243-127-7 career record that ranked him third in victories among active coaches and eighth in winning percentage. His 12 career post-season bowl victories ranked him fifth on the all-time list.
He has built a reputation as a motivator, a demanding disciplinarian and someone who relishes challenges and hard work.
The 72-year-old Follansbee, WV, native became the 27th head coach of Noire Dame following two seasons at Minnesota (1984 to 85), seven at Arkansas (1977 to 83), four at North Carolina State (1972 to 75) and three at William & Mary (1969 to 71). He spent the 1976 season as head coach of the NFL's New York Jets. Twenty-one of the 26 collegiate teams under his direction have earned post- season bowl invitations, and 14 have finished in the final AP Top 20, eight in the Top 10 (not including the 1995 finish in that category).
Holtz's head-coaching career began in 1969 at William & Mary at age 32. Despite three straight losing seasons, his second team in 1970 won the Southern Conference title and advanced to play 15- ranked Toledo in the Tangerine Bowl in the only post-season appearance in the history of the school. Holtz's stab at professional football, between his tenures at North Carolina State and Arkansas, produced a 3-10 record. He resigned the week of the Jets' final regular season game.
Before becoming head coach at William & Mary in 1969, Holtz served as anassistant coach at Iowa (freshmen, 1960), William & Mary (offensive backs, 1961 to 63), Connecticut (defensive backs, 1964 to 65), South Carolina (defensive backs, 1966 to 67) and Ohio State (defensive backs, 1968). The Buckeyes won the national championship in 1968 in his one season on the Ohio State staff. He worked under such respected coaches as Forest Evashevski at Iowa, Rick Foranzo at Connecticut, Paul Dietzel at South Carolina and Woody Hayes at Ohio State.
Born Louis Leo Holtz on Jan. 6, 1937, Holtz grew up in East Liverpool, Ohio, just up the Ohio River from his birthplace. He graduated from East Liverpool High School, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in history from Kent State in 1959 and a master's degree from Iowa in arts and education in 1961. He played linebacker at Kent State for two seasons before an injury ended his career.
Holtz has authored three New York Times best-selling books, The Fighting Spirit that chronicled Notre Dame's 1988 championship season, Winning Everyday: A Game Plan For Success (August 1998), which has been published in several languages, and his latest book released Aug. 15, 2006 - Wins, Losses and Lessons an autobiography of his life and the lessons he has learned.
Additionally, he has produced three highly acclaimed motivational videos: Do Right, Do Right II, and If Enough People Care. The Lou Holtz Hall of Fame opened in East Liverpool, Ohio, in July 1998. He has just released his latest video, Do Right: 20 Years Later.
The Walter Camp Football Foundation, an award that is presented annually to an individual who has attained a measure of success and been a leader in his chosen profession, named Lou Holtz 1998's Man of the Year. This is the second time Coach Holtz has been saluted by the organization named for the legendary Father of American Football. In 1977, while in Arkansas, he was named Coach of the Year.
Coach Holtz was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in New York in December, and the enshrinement was in South Bend, IN, in December 2008.
Married to Beth Barcus of East Liverpool on July 22, 1961, Holtz and his wife are the parents of four children and currently reside in Orlando, FL.