Lou Holtz


Published 10/1/2010

Old coach continues to inspire

Lou Holtz—coach, author, commentator—to speak at 2011 Annual Meeting

He’s one of the most successful college football coaches of all time—and 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 have four different teams ranked in the final Top 20 poll.

No wonder Lou Holtz has such a sterling reputation for turning pretenders into contenders. During his 26 seasons as a collegiate head coach—11 with Notre Dame—Mr. Holtz was known as a motivator, a demanding disciplinarian, and a relisher of challenges and hard work.

He’ll bring that fighting spirit to San Diego when he addresses the 2011 AAOS Annual Meeting at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 17.

Career highlights
Mr. Holtz served as the head football coach at The College of William & Mary (1969–1971), North Carolina State University (1972–1975), the University of Arkansas (1977–1983), the University of Minnesota (1984–1985), the University of Notre Dame (1986–1996), and University of South Carolina (1999–2004), compiling a career record of 249–132–7. His 1988 Notre Dame team went 12–0 with a victory in the Fiesta Bowl and was the consensus national champion.

Over the years, the slender, bespectacled Holtz has become known for his quick wit and ability to inspire players. In 2005, Holtz joined ESPN as a college football analyst. He appears on the ESPN programs “College Football Scoreboard,” “College Football Final,” “College Football Live,” and “SportsCenter.” He also serves as an onsite analyst for college football games. On May 1, 2008, Mr. Holtz was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.

Mr. Holtz has authored three New York Times best-selling books: The Fighting Spirit, which chronicles Notre Dame’s 1988 championship season; Winning Everyday: A Game Plan For Success; and Wins, Losses and Lessons, an autobiography of his life and the lessons he has learned. In addition, he has authored or coauthored seven other books.

Mr. Holtz is an advocate for people with speech impediments and donates his time to children with such disorders. He has long been active in Republican Party politics, and he considered entering the Republican primary for a Congressional seat in Florida in 2009.

Coaching and controversy
Despite his success on the gridiron, Mr. Holtz’s coaching career has not been without incidents of controversy. While head coach at Arkansas, he was criticized for his efforts to help re-elect ultraconservative Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) found rule violations at both Notre Dame and the University of South Carolina, in investigations of activities that occurred while Mr. Holtz was coach. His outspokenness also caused controversy during his tenure on “College Football Live.”

Nonetheless, his fellow coaches and media colleagues praise his efforts to help others achieve their full potential and recognize his charisma, dynamic personality, and “distinctive mark of success.”

A winning strategy
Twice named the “best motivational speaker in the country,” Mr. Holtz strongly believes that “choices are our game plan’s bricks and mortar. Everything that happens to us is the result of choices we make.” His autobiography outlines a 10-step strategy for “a winning frame of mind,” beginning with the power of attitude.

He encourages his audiences to tackle adversity, have a sense of purpose, and make sacrifice an ally. Noting that humans must “adapt or die,” he advises readers to chase their dreams, nurture their self-image, and foster trust. He supports a commitment to excellence and the golden rule. “Treat others as you would be treated—with concern and care,” he writes.

In every game plan, according to Coach Holtz, success depends on minimizing obstacles and maximizing opportunities. Maximize your opportunity at the 2011 AAOS Annual Meeting in San Diego…don’t miss hearing Lou Holtz speak.