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Meet the Experts: Lou Holtz


Lou Holtz

Coach, Sportscaster and Author 


Lou Holtz is one of the most successful college football coaches of all time. He earned his B.S. in History from Kent State and a master’s degree from Iowa in Arts and Education. He played linebacker at Kent State for two seasons before an injury ended his career. Holtz has received nine honorary doctorate degrees.  He is the only coach in the history of college football to take six different teams to a bowl game; win five bowl games with different teams and to have four different college teams ranked in the final Top 20 poll. Despite never inheriting a winning team, he compiled a 243-127-7 career record that ranked him third in victories among active coaches and eighth in winning percentage. His twelve career postseason bowl victories ranked him fifth on the all-time list. Holtz was selected for the 2008 College Football Hall of Fame , placing him in an elite group of over 800 individuals in the history of football who have earned this distinction. Approximately 1 in 5,000 people who played college football or coached it make it into the Hall of Fame. In 2012, Coach Holtz was inducted into the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame. He became the 27th head coach of Notre Dame following two seasons at Minnesota, seven at Arkansas, four at North Carolina State and three at William & Mary. He spent the 1976 season as head coach of the New York Jets of the National Football League. Twenty-one of the 26 collegiate teams under his direction have earned post-season bowl invitations, 14 have finished in the final AP top 20, and eight in the top 10. 

Holtz’s head-coaching career began in 1969 at William & Mary. His second team in 1970 won the Southern Conference title and advanced to play 15-ranked Toledo in the Tangerine Bowl in the only postseason appearance in the history of the school. Holtz’ stab at professional football produced a 3-10 record. Before becoming head coach at William & Mary in 1969, Holtz served as an assistant coach at Iowa, William & Mary, Connecticut, South Carolina and Ohio State. 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. When Holtz took over as Notre Dame’s 27th head football coach in 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 at Notre Dame earned Holtz a sterling reputation for turning pretenders into contenders, for taking football programs and elevating them on their way to the top 20. But nowhere has he done this as impressively than 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 keep them there on a consistent basis. He has also developed a well-earned reputation as an expert when it comes to knocking off highly ranked opponents. nnecting You with the World's Greatest Minds

Currently, Holtz serves as a college football studio analyst on ESPN. He appears on ESPNEWS', ESPN College GameDay programs, SportsCenter as well as serves as an on-site analyst for college football games. For many years 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. He has built a reputation as a motivator, a demanding disciplinarian and someone who relishes challenges and hard work.