Lou Holtz has established himself as one of the most successful college football coaches of all time. Born Louis Leo Holtz on January 6, 1937, Holtz grew up in East Liverpool, Ohio, just up the Ohio River from his Follansbee, West Virginia birthplace. He graduated from East Liverpool High School, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in history from Kent State in 1959 and a Masters degree from Iowa in arts and education in 1961. He played linebacker at Kent State for two seasons before an injury ended his career.
He has received numerous honorary doctorate degrees.
Holtz is the only coach in the history of college football to:
1) Take 6 different teams to a bowl game.
2) Win 5 bowl games with different teams.
3) To have 4 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 12 career postseason bowl victories ranked him fifth on the all-time list.
Holtz was recently selected for the College Football Hall of Fame, class of 2008, which places him in an elite group of just over 800 individuals in the history of football who have earned this distinction. Approximate 1 in 5,000 people who played college football or coached it make it into the Hall of Fame.
The Follansbee, West Virginia, native became the 25th head coach of Notre 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 New York Jets of the National Football League.
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).
In his 11 seasons at Notre Dame, Holtz chalked up more victories than the number accumulated by Parseghian, Rockne Connecting You with the World's Greatest Minds 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. 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 is the 2008 recipient of the Notre Dame Monogram Clubs highest honor, the Moose Krause Distinguished Service Award.
Until 2014, Holtz was a college football studio analyst on ESPN. He appeared on ESPNews, ESPN College GameDay programs, SportsCenter, and served as an on-site analyst for college football games. Coach Holtz is currently in his second year with SiriusXM Radio as a Co-Host for two sports programs; a golf show broadcast throughout the year entitled, Holtz In One, and two weekly college football shows during season.
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. He has built a reputation as a motivator, a demanding disciplinarian, and someone who relishes challenges and hard work.