He came to Notre Dame following two seasons at Minnesota (1984-85), seven at Arkansas (1977-83), four at North Carolina State (1972-75) and three at William & Mary (1969-71). He spent the 1976 season as head coach of the New York Jets of the National Football League. Twenty of the 25 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.
Born Louis Leo Holtz on January 6, 1937, Holtz grew up in East Liverpool, Ohio, just up the Ohio River from his Follansbee, W. Va., birthplace. 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. He played linebacker at Kent State for two seasons before an injury ended his career.
Holtz authored the New York Times best-selling book "The Fighting Spirit" that chronicled Notre Dame's 1988 championship season.
A noted speaker and student of motivation, Holtz has championed countless charitable and educational causes. Among the current beneficiaries of his help are the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and South Bend's Center for the Homeless.
Married to Beth Barcus of East Liverpool on July 22, 1961, Holtz and his wife are the parents of four children-Luanne Altenbaumer, Skip (he graduated from Notre Dame in December of '86, spent two years as a graduate assistant coach at Florida State, one year as receivers coach at Colorado State, joined the Notre Dame staff as receivers coach in 1990, became offensive coordinator in '91 and was named head coach at the University of Connecticut in December of '93), Kevin (he graduated from Notre Dame in December of '88, finished law school at Notre Dame in the spring of '92 and currently works for the Dallas Cowboys) and Elizabeth Messaglia (a '91 Notre Dame graduate).