Lou Holtz Biography
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Also Known As: Louis Leo Holtz, Louis Holtz
Born in: Follansbee, West Virginia
Famous as: American Football Coach
Spouse/Ex-: Beth Barcus (m. 1961)
father: Andrew Holtz
mother: Anne Marie Holtz
children: Skip Holtz
U.S. State: West Virginia
education: Kent State University, East Liverpool High School
Lou Holtz is a former American football player, coach, and analyst who is best known as the only college soccer coach to take six different programs to bowl games and to lead four of them to the final top 20 rankings. He was the head football coach at the College of William & Mary, the North Carolina State University, the University of Arkansas, the University of Minnesota, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of South Carolina. He also coached the NFL team, the New York Jets, for one season. Holtz was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008. He has worked as a college football analyst for CBS Sports and ESPN. He is also a successful author and has delivered inspirational speeches at various events.
- Louis Leo Holtz was born on January 6, 1937 in Follansbee, West Virginia to Andrew and Anne Marie Holtz. He grew up in a Roman Catholic household in East Liverpool, Ohio. He attended East Liverpool High School and completed his college graduation in history from the Kent State University in 1959.
- At the Kent State University, he was a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity and played college football as an undersized linebacker. He trained under Kent State's Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps, and following graduation, was commissioned as a Field Artillery Officer in the United States Army Reserve.
- In 1960, Lou Holtz began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Iowa, following which he assisted at William & Mary (1961–1963), Connecticut (1964–1965), South Carolina (1966–1967) and Ohio State (1968). After helping Ohio State Buckeyes win a national championship, he was hired as head coach at William & Mary in 1969, and led them to the Southern Conference title and to the Tangerine Bowl.
- He moved to North Carolina State University in 1972, and had a 33–12–3 record during his four-season stay there. His first three teams achieved final Top 20 rankings, including one final Top 10 finish in 1974. He won the ACC Championship in 1973 and led four Wolfpack teams to bowl games.
- Holtz became the head coach of the NFL's New York Jets on February 10, 1976. However, he resigned from his position 10 months later, on December 9, with a record of 3-10 and one game remaining. He then lamented the switch to professional football.
- He returned to college football as the head coach at the University of Arkansas in 1977. During his seven seasons there, he reached six bowl games and led the Razorbacks to a 60–21–2 record. In his very first season there, he led them to the 1978 Orange Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners, whom they defeated by 31–6 despite playing without several key players.
- Following a 6-5 display in 1983, Holtz was dismissed from Arkansas, but athletic director Frank Broyles stated that he had resigned because he was "tired and burned out". However, both later confirmed that he was actually fired. It was speculated that his political involvement, especially endorsing the re-election of Jesse Helms as Senator, was the primary reason for his dismissal.
- In 1984, he took charge of the Minnesota Golden Gophers team, which had won only one game in the previous season. He helped them win 4 games, including 3 in the Big Ten.
- In 1986, he was recruited by the then-struggling Notre Dame Fighting Irish football program. As the head coach, he immediately implemented strict discipline and removed names from players' jerseys to make them understand the significance of team effort. The team's point margin improved in the following season, and he led them to the Cotton Bowl Classic.
- By the third season, the Fighting Irish won all their regular season games and claimed the national championship with a win over third-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers in the Fiesta Bowl. They achieved a similar feat in 1989, and went on to register three consecutive bowl wins in 1991-93.
- Holtz had retired in 1996 for undisclosed reasons, but following two seasons as a commentator for CBS Sports, returned to coach the University of South Carolina in 1999. He again led the struggling team to two Outback Bowl wins over Ohio State Buckeyes in 2000-01. Following a few average seasons, he finally retired in 2004.
- Lou Holtz, who has worked as a college football analyst for CBS Sports and ESPN, has appeared on programs like 'College Football Scoreboard', 'College Football Final', 'College Football Live', and 'SportsCenter'.
- He has authored about a dozen books, including three New York Times best-sellers: 'The Fighting Spirit', 'Winning Everyday: A Game Plan For Success' and 'Wins, Losses and Lessons'. He is also a celebrated speaker and has produced three highly acclaimed motivational videos.
- Lou Holtz is married to Beth Barcus since July 22, 1961, and lives with her in Orlando, Florida. They have four children together, three of whom are Notre Dame graduates, while their eldest son Skip is the head football coach at the Louisiana Tech University.
- Lou Holtz has the remarkable record of taking every team he coached to at least one bowl game, except for Minnesota Gophers, whom he didn't coach at the Independence Bowl.
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