Boasting more than 30 years of football coaching experience, Lou Holtz brought his spirit of motivation and enthusiasm to USF on Tuesday, encouraging students and athletes to strive to achieve their goals on the football field and in life.
“I refuse to believe any obstacle is going to keep me from my objective.” Holtz said.
In order to be successful in life, Holtz encouraged the audience to have a vision of where they want to go, to have a plan, to lead by example and to hold people accountable for their decisions.
“Life is a matter of choices,” Holtz said. “You have to choose.”.
Holtz told everyone the importance of dreaming. With dreams come goals, and goals show a commitment to excellence that everyone should strive to reach. He associated dreaming with Martin Luther King’s historical speech.
“Martin Luther King motivated a whole nation with ‘I have a dream’ not ‘I have a strategic plan,'” Holtz said.
The former University of Notre Dame coach also challenged athletes to stay focused on their purpose in school – to graduate and win – and to have the passion to win. Holtz also stressed the importance of teamwork, elevating each other to their highest potential, and improving everyday.
“You can’t achieve success without sacrifice.” Holtz said. “Get rid of all excuses that you can’t do something”. In his coaching career, Holtz took a struggling Notre Dame football team in the 1980s and turned it into a National Championship team in 1989. He led the Fighting Irish to a 23-game winning streak, took six other teams to bowl games, and helped four teams earn Top 20 rankings.
Holtz is currently a college football analyst for ESPN’s College Gameday, giving pep talks and motivational speeches to football teams and players. More notably, he gave USF’s football team a pep talk prior to the USF vs. West Virginia game this past season before the Bulls defeated the Mountaineers 21-13.
Holtz helps athletes become not only better players, but also better role models and better people in society.
“People ask me why did I become a coach and I tell them I have a chance to be significant when you help other people become successful.” Holtz said.