Lou Holtz was born in Follansbee, West Virginia and grew up in East Liverpool, Ohio. He graduated from East Liverpool High School, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in History from Kent State in 1959 and a master’s degree from Iowa in Arts and Education in 1961. Mr. Holtz was a linebacker at Kent State for two seasons before suffering a career-ending injury. While at Kent State, he was also a member of the ROTC and served as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army.
Mr. Holtz served as an assistant coach at Iowa (freshmen, 1960), William & Mary (offensive backs, 1961 to 63), Connecticut (defensive backs, 1964 to 65), South Carolina (defensive backs, 1966 to 67) and Ohio State (defensive backs, 1968). Notably, the Buckeyes won the National Championship that year.
His head-coaching career began in 1969 at William & Mary at age 32. In his second season, the team won the Southern Conference title and advanced to play 15th-ranked Toledo in the Tangerine Bowl.
Following William & Mary, Mr. Holtz served as head coach at North Carolina State (1972-75), the New York Jets (1976), Arkansas (1977-83), and North Carolina State (1984-85). He took over as the 27th head coach for the University of Notre Dame in November of 1985, and served in that position for eleven seasons. Among countless notable accomplishments, Mr. Holtz led the Fighting Irish to nine straight post-season bowl appearances, a record 23-game winning streak, and a National Championship in 1988. That year he was also named Coach of the Year by several organizations.
Mr. Holtz spent two seasons as a commentator for CBS Sports, then returned to coaching for the University of South Carolina. During his six year tenure, he was named National Coach of the Year by Football News and America Football Coaches Quarterly, posted two Top 25 finishes, and made two consecutive New Years Day bowl appearances for the first time in school history.
After retiring from coaching Mr. Holtz returned to broadcasting as an analyst for ESPN and a commentator for SiriusXM. Mr Holtz is also a prolific author, publishing three New York Times bestsellers: The Fighting Spirit (1989), Winning Everyday: The Game Plan for Success (1998), and his autobiography, Wins, Losses, and Lessons (2006). In addition, Mr. Holtz has produced several highly acclaimed motivational videos.
For many years Mr. Holtz has been considered among the greatest speaking legends in America, addressing audiences across the country on such fundamental topics as overcoming hardship, dedication, leadership and faith.
Mr. Holtz and his wife Beth have been married since 1961. They are the parents of four children and currently reside in Florida.
Making College Football History:
The Legendary Lou Holtz