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Words From a Legend: Lou Holtz

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Granted, University of South Carolina head coach Lou Holtz has never looked much like a stereotypical football coach, but then again he has never acted like one either.

The 65-year-old coaching icon, who coached the NFL’s New York Jets in 1976, has enjoyed a successful career which includes stints as the head coach of William and Mary, North Carolina State, Arkansas and - most notably - Notre Dame. In fact, Holtz led the Fighting Irish to a national championship in 1988 and to nine consecutive New Year’s Day bowl games.

In just his second season at South Carolina, Holtz led the Gamecocks to the biggest regular season turnaround in Southeastern Conference history and the fourth best regular season turnaround in NCAA history when they finished 8-4 in 2000 after finishing 0-11 the year before.

Holtz, a three-time National Coach of the Year (1977, 1988, 2000), is the only coach in NCAA history to lead six different programs to bowl games – all by at least the second year – and likewise is the only coach to ever guide four different programs to final Top 20 national rankings.

Holtz has always used his wit and wisdom to not only lead and inspire his players, but to also endure himself as one of the country’s most beloved sports personalities. After 30 years of coaching, it is obvious that Lou Holtz is a man of character and humility, and he is a man who loves football and the young men who play the game. “If I had to choose between a guy with speed and intelligence, I’d take intelligence any day. A guy with great speed going the wrong direction is worse than a guy who is slow going the right way.”

“I don’t like to have a lot of rules because I can’t remember them all.”

“I took a flu shot in front of my players and I never flinched. I passed out, but I never flinched.”

“Most problems are blessings in disguise. My motto has always been, ‘Ready, fire, aim.’”

“I’m so slow it takes me an hour and a half to watch 60 Minutes.”

“A moving target is harder to hit.”

“We don’t do dances in the end zone. We like them to act like they’ve been there before.” “Show me a person who is a success, and I’ll show you a person who has overcome adversity.”

“If you’re patting yourself on the back about what you did yesterday, you haven’t done much today.”

“We’ll be passing a lot – hopefully to our own people.”“Hey, look, we’re getting better. Eight guys did the right thing on that play.”

“I’m not a miracle worker and I’m not a genius.”

“Be a participant in life. Do not be a spectator.”

Quotations from Quotable Lou: The Wit, Wisdom and Inspiration of Lou Holtz, by Monte Carpenter


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