January 6, 1937 - Lou Holtz's birthday
Everyone either remembers Lou Holtz as the last head coach to win a national championship or has seen him on ESPN every Saturday. Lou Holtz is the only coach to take six different teams to a bowl game. Most known for his motivational speaking and witty quips, Holtz was born in West Virginia and graduated from Kent State University in 1959. Following his college playing days as a linebacker Holtz became an assistant coach starting in 1960 at Iowa, William & Mary, Connecticut, South Carolina, and Ohio State.
His first head coaching job came in 1969 and was at William & Mary. He compiled a 13-20 record highlighted by a trip to the Tangerine Bowl and Southern Conference championship in 1970. Next was a four year stint at North Carolina State where he took the Wolfpack to four straight bowl games and a 33-12-3 record. It was at this point that Holtz made a jump to the NFL for one season with the New York Jets. He quick admitted God did not put him here to coach in the pros and he quickly returned to the college level at Arkansas. Success again followed him for the next seven years which included six bowl games, a co-Southwest Conference championship, and a 60-21-2 record. His next two years at Minnesota were not up to his prior standards, but his resume was enough for Notre Dame to hire him as the next head coach in 1986 following Gerry Faust. Holtz had a "Notre Dame clause" in his contract and left before Minnesota's bowl game.
When Holtz came to Notre Dame, he had the names removed from the jerseys and added the Play Like a Champion Today sign. In 1986 the team went 5-6 but five losses were by a combined fourteen points. The season ended by beating Southern Cal after trailing by seventeen points. In his third season, Notre Dame won its most recent national championship by beating West Virginia in the Fiesta Bowl. Continuing into 1989, the team won twenty-three games in a row and beat Colorado in the Orange Bowl. Lou is able to claim victories against #1 Miami (1988) and #1 Florida State (1993). He also won the Fiesta, Orange, Sugar, and Cotton Bowls while at Notre Dame (never having the opportunity to go to the Rose Bowl). With a 100-30-2 (five wins shy of the mark set by Knute Rockne) and a lifetime contract, Lou Holtz retired from coaching.
This retirement did not last long since Holtz returned to South Carolina in 1999 where the team promptly went 0-11. Six years later and a 33-37 record, Holtz retired for the second time and for good. In thirty-three season as head coach, Lou Holtz compiled a 249-132-7 record and one national championship.
Lou Holtz and his wife have four children, three of whom went to Notre Dame. Holtz has written ten books, most recently his autobiography Wins, Losses, and Lessons. He has appeared on a Discover card commercial and in The Blind Side.
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Posted On: 2012-01-06 03:15:00 by IrishTrpt07
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