Holtz, Lou 1937- (Louis Leo Holtz)
Holtz, Lou 1937- (Louis Leo Holtz)
Born January 6, 1937, in Fallansbee, WV; son of a bus driver and a practical nurse; married Beth Barcus, July 22, 1961; children: Luanne, Skip, Kevin Richard, Elizabeth. Education: Kent State University, B.A., 1959; University of Iowa, M.A., 1969. Religion: Roman Catholic.
Football coach and sportscaster. Assistant football coach for University of Iowa, College of William and Mary, University of Connecticut, University of South Carolina, and Ohio State University, 1961-69; head football coach at College of William and Mary, 1969-71, North Carolina State University, 1972-75, New York Jets (professional football team), 1976, University of Arkansas, 1977-83, University of Minnesota, 1984-85, University of Notre Dame, 1986-96, and University of South Carolina, 1999-2004; College Football Today, Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), television analyst, 1997-98; and College Gameday, ESPN, 2005—. Motivational speaker. Military service: Served in U.S. Army.
Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year, 1972; District Coach of the Year, National Collegiate Athletic Association, 1973; National Coach of the Year, Football Writers Association of America and the Walter Camp Foundation, 1977; Southwest Conference Coach of the Year, Associated Press and United Press International, 1979; National Coach of the Year, Associated Press, 1988; Paul "Bear" Bryant award, National Sportscasters & Sportswriters Association, 1988; Man of the Year, Walter Camp Football Foundation, 1998; Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year, 2000; National Coach of the Year, Football News and American Football Coach Quarterly, 2000; Living and Giving Award, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 2001. The Lou Holtz/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame was established in 1998.
Holtz' Quotes, compiled and edited by Donald Dugan, Parkin Printing (Little Rock, AR), 1978.
The Offensive Side of Lou Holtz, Parkin Printing (Little Rock, AR), 1978.
(With John Heisler) The Fighting Spirit: A Championship Season at Notre Dame, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1989.
Winning Every Day: The Game Plan for Success, foreword by Harvey Mackay, HarperBusiness (New York, NY), 1998.
Quotable Lou: The Wit, Wisdom, and Inspiration of Lou Holtz, College Football's Most Colorful and Engaging Coach, compiled by Monte Carpenter, TowleHouse Publishing (Nashville, TN), 2002.
A Teen's Game Plan for Life, Sorin Books (Notre Dame, IN), 2002.
Wins, Losses, and Lessons: An Autobiography, Morrow (New York, NY), 2006.
Lou Holtz is one of the most successful major college football coaches in history. Upon his retirement in 2004, Holtz had chalked up 249 victories, the eighth most in Division I-A, and had guided six schools—William and Mary, North Carolina State, Arkansas, Minnesota, Notre Dame, and South Carolina—to bowl games. In 1988 he led Notre Dame to the national football championship, capping a remarkable comeback for a football powerhouse that had fallen on hard times until Holtz arrived on the scene.
Holtz was born in Fallansbee, West Virginia, and raised in East Liverpool, Ohio. A slight youngster with a speech impediment, Holtz did not appear to be headed for greatness; he often jokes that he finished near the bottom of his class in high school. After playing linebacker at Kent State, he entered coaching in 1960, serving as an assistant at such schools as Iowa and Ohio State before landing the head coaching position at William and Mary in 1969. With an emphasis on hard work, strict discipline, and effective recruiting, Holtz produced winning teams at each stop. His teams reached the postseason twenty-two times, and he is the only coach to ever guide four different programs to final top-twenty rankings.
After leaving the coaching ranks, Holtz headed to the television studio, where he works as a college football commentator. Described by Sports Illustrated contributor William Oscar Johnson as "a livewire public speaker who mixes Henny Youngman-like one-liners … with hard-edged inspirational aphorisms," Holtz is much sought after on the lecture circuit, having earned a reputation as an exceptional motivator. "I do not believe a coach is anything more than a teacher," he told Gerry Kingdom in the Saturday Evening Post. "If you're a good teacher, you'll be a good coach. If you're a good coach, you'll be a good teacher. And to be good at either, you've got to have discipline."
Holtz also adheres to that philosophy in his best-selling books. In Winning Every Day: The Game Plan for Success, he offers ten strategies for maximizing opportunities, including setting short- and long-range goals, developing a positive attitude, making a commitment to excellence, welcoming adversity, and nurturing a healthy self-image. "Holtz illustrates his points with numerous anecdotes drawn from his coaching days," observed a critic in Publishers Weekly.
In Wins, Losses, and Lessons: An Autobiography, Holtz recounts his childhood and adolescence, as well as his days in the coaching profession. Praising the author's humorous anecdotes, Sports Illustrated reviewer Austin Murphy wrote that "Holtz is a born showman, which makes his autobiography an engaging read. Even as he outworked and outschemed opponents over a 33-year college head-coaching career … it was always apparent that this slight, lisping martinet was put on earth to entertain." According to Booklist critic Wes Lukowsky, Holtz's "story makes a pleasant reading experience for football fans; and his reputation will generate interest."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Holtz, Lou, and John Heisler, The Fighting Spirit: A Championship Season at Notre Dame, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1989.
Holtz, Lou, Wins, Losses, and Lessons: An Autobiography, Morrow (New York, NY), 2006.
Booklist, September 1, 1989, review of The Fighting Spirit, p. 4; August 1, 1998, Mary Whaley, review of Winning Every Day: The Game Plan for Success, p. 1939; July 1, 2006, Wes Lukowsky, review of Wins, Losses, and Lessons, p. 20.
Business Week, October 5, 1998, Hardy Green, review of Winning Every Day, p. 22.
Los Angeles Times, September 9, 1990, review of The Fighting Spirit, p. 14.
New York Times, November 24, 1996, Gerald Eskenazi, "New York Jets Go Rolling Along"; September 2, 1999, Timothy W. Smith, "Enough to Give a Savior Heartburn"; September 25, 2000, Joe Drape, "Holtz Goes from 0-11 to Oh, Boy," p. D2.
New York Times Book Review, November 19, 1989, Mary Eileen O'Connell, review of The Fighting Spirit, p. 44.
Publishers Weekly, July 13, 1998, review of Winning Every Day, p. 72; May 29, 2006, review of Wins, Losses, and Lessons, p. 50.
Saturday Evening Post, September, 1989, Gerry Kingdom, "Shaking Down the Thunder," p. 52.
School Library Journal, January 1, 2003, review of A Teen's Game Plan for Life, p. 162.
Sport, December 1, 1999, Mark Bodenrader, review of Winning Every Day, p. 100.
Sports Illustrated, November 5, 1984, William Oscar Johnson, "New Deal in Gopherland," p. 44; December 9, 1985, Douglas S. Looney, "Time to Wake up the Echoes," p. 24; December 5, 1988, Rick Telander and Bruce Anderson, "Go Get 'em, Men," p. 26; September 25, 2006, Austin Murphy, "Heeeeeere's … Lou!," review of Wins, Losses, and Lessons, p. 4.
State (Columbia, SC), November 22, 2004, Ron Morris, "Holtz Retires, Leaving Much to Remember, Much to Forget."
Time, November 27, 1989, Paul A. Witteman, "The Fella Expects to Win," p. 90.